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Gov't to invest nearly W1 tln in IT industry

All Headlines 11:00 January 17, 2012

SEOUL, Jan. 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's government said Tuesday that it plans to invest nearly 1 trillion won (US$870 million) in the country's information technology (IT) industry with 594 billion won earmarked for the development of new technologies.

A total of 956 billion won, up 2.1 percent from 2011, will be spent on the research and development (R&D) of new technologies, as well as human resources and IT infrastructure, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.

The investment plan "aims to strengthen the global competitiveness of the country's software industry through R&D while promoting the application of information technology in all industrial sectors," the ministry said.

Out of the total, 62.1 percent of the money will be injected toward the development of new, indigenous technologies. The figure represents a drop of 3.9 percent or 23.7 billion won from a year earlier, but the ministry said the total has actually increased as the state-run Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute will invest an additional 28.8 billion won from its own budget for the first time this year.

Nearly 100 billion won, up 10.2 percent from 90.4 billion won last year, will be invested in the training of IT experts with the amount set aside for the fostering of software specialists to more than double from 8 billion won last year to 17 billion won, the ministry said.

In 2011, South Korea's IT exports gained 2 percent on-year to a record high of $156.97 billion. The ministry earlier said the country's IT exports will grow 3.8 percent this year to $163.01 billion for a trade surplus of $76.53 billion.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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