Five government agencies – the Financial Services Commission; Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning; Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy; Korea Communications Commission; and Small and Medium Business Administration – announced on Jan. 15 that they would invest 100 trillion won (US$92.9 billion) in future growth industries this year.
The investment goes mainly to nine strategic sectors: smart cars, 5G telephony, deep sea plants, intelligent robots, wearable smart devices, realistic digital content, personalized wellness care, smart systems for accident and disaster prevention, and hybrid systems for alternative energy. The fund will also be invested in the four base sectors of intelligent semiconductors, convergence materials, intelligent IoT, and big data.
The amount of the fund increased by more than 10 trillion won (US$9.3 billion) compared to a year ago, and is equivalent to 62.8 percent of the total policy finances earmarked for this year.
At the same time, the agencies are planning to further promote the future growth of the private financial sector covering banks, securities firms, and venture capital organizations. In this vein, they have come up with an investment promotion program for infrastructure establishment and major investment projects so that 30 trillion won (US$27.8 billion) will be invested to this end by 2017. Financing assistance for startups and venture firms has been increased by 4 trillion won to 10.5 trillion won (US$9.7 billion) this year in an effort to strengthen the investment function of Korea Development Bank combined with the Korea Finance Corporation on the first day of this year.
A new policy package has been put into place for technology financing, too. The Financial Services Commission is going to increase the volume of Tech Credit Bureau loans by at least 32,000 cases and 20 trillion won (US$18.5 billion) this year, while setting up a tech valuation investment fund worth 300 billion won (US$278 billion). The beneficiaries of the Creative Economy Innovation Fund for startup and venture investment are expanded from four to 17 regions, with the scale boosted from 160 to 600 billion won (US$148 to $557 million).