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Gov't to help sports industry become 53 trillion won market by 2018

All News 17:39 March 10, 2016

SEOUL, March 10 (Yonhap) -- The government announced a set of policies on Thursday to fuel the growth of the local sports industry so it can become a 53 trillion won (US$44.1 billion) market by 2018.

The goal aims to get more people to participate in a wide range of sporting activities that can result in a bigger overall market. Industry data showed the local sports market standing at 41 trillion won in 2014.

The government's plan was revealed at a meeting in Daegu 302 kilometers southeast of Seoul at an event arranged by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Some 500 people including the sports minister and sports-related figures attended the "vision meeting for sports, culture and industry" held at Daegu Athletic Promotion Center.

According to the report, the government's ambitious plan to expand the sports markets will be achieved through the convergence and integration of sports with information communication technology and the development of high-value-added sports goods.

The plan can also be achieved by building up a dedicated sports industry that can be further bolstered by professional sports agents and better marketing methods, the report said.

The measures, moreover, outline a plan to systematically cultivate professional manpower on convergence and integration to ensure the sustainable growth of the country's sports market.

As part of a broader strategy, more jobs will be created for sports-related workers and retired athletes. The government said it plans to increase the number of jobs to 330,000 by 2018 from 270,000 in 2014.

In addition, it will cultivate 50 sports-related businesses through loan and funding assistance. It also aims to cultivate "sports cities" so as to spur regional economic growth.

On school sports activities, the government will make efforts to expand the "one student-one sport" system so more youngsters will be able to participate in sports-related activities.

A government official said if all goes according to plan, the percentage of students who are good at one or more types of sports will reach 60 percent in 2018.

Also, the government will promote an environment so that ordinary people's sports participation rates will reach 62 percent on average by the target year.

This goal can be achieved by the government expanding more sports programs and projects for preschoolers, senior citizens and handicapped persons.

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