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Science & ICT ministry to focus on technology upgrades, job creation

All Headlines 10:00 April 18, 2013

SEOUL, April 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's ministry in charge of science, information and technology said Thursday that it will create jobs by fostering an environment for business start-ups and bringing the country's scientific research close to a world-class level.

In a briefing on 2013 policy plans to President Park Geun-hye, the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning said it will launch a government-wide project under which social issues such as food safety and environmental accidents could be resolved through scientific technology.

"In order to create an environment for business start-ups, the ministry will extend support and strengthen policy coordination with related agencies," the ministry said. "The ministry will launch a project to create 10 new industries by 2017 through combination of science, ICT and culture."

Under the ministry's plan, a total of 408,000 new jobs will be created by 2017, about 90,000 of which are to come from business start-ups.

The ministry said it plans to help universities provide training programs to students who want to be involved in business start-ups.

The ministry was created under the government reorganization plan, and is the icon of the Park administration's "creative economy," where scientific technology and information technology play central roles in the country's economic growth.

Park said earlier that the ministry will be a main government agency responsible for South Korea's economic growth and job creation. She has repeatedly stressed information communications technology (ICT) is a future growth engine for the country.

The ministry also said it will work to boost scientific research and development with sales of state-funded institutes rising to 500 billion won (US$447 million) in 2017 from 107 billion won in 2012.

The ministry also plans to extend the number of top 1 percent most cited scientific research papers to 5,000 in 2017 from 1,268 in 2011.

Some of the action plans included developing the software industry, and the ministry also vowed to nurture scientific minds and groom the knowledge industry.

The ministry plans to boost output of the country's software industry to 100 trillion won in 2017 from 31.2 trillion won in 2012.

Also, the country will boast the world's fastest wireless and wired network in 2017 with the number of public Wi-Fi zones rising to 10,000 in 2017 from 2,000 in 2012, and gigabit speed Internet connections available in most parts of the country as well.

The ministry also said it plans to prod local mobile operators to phase out subscription fees by 2015. The fee currently ranges from 24,000 won to 39,000 won. The ministry expects the abolition of a mobile subscription fee to cut mobile charge by around 500 billion won annually.


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