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Park visits virtual reality exhibition to promote VR technology as growth dynamo

All Headlines 11:08 October 07, 2016

By Song Sang-ho

SEOUL, Oct. 7 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye on Friday visited a virtual reality (VR) exhibition in Seoul to provide fresh momentum to her government's drive to nurture the promising technology sector as a new growth engine.

The exhibition, called Korea VR Festival, began its four-day run on Thursday. Nearly 80 companies, including those from the United States, Japan and China, have joined the event held at the Nuri Dream Square, a tech cluster in western Seoul.

Park met with the heads of the participating VR companies and highlighted the prospect of the VR sector creating new business opportunities and bringing about innovation in various realms, including education, medicine, defense and tourism.

In August, South Korea designated the plan to foster the virtual reality sector as one of the nine "national strategic projects" that include those involving artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, smart cities, biotechnology and light-weight materials.

To develop the VR sector, the Seoul government, in cooperation with the private sector, plans to invest some 400 billion won (US$359 million) over the next five years. The investment plan includes raising a VR fund worth 40 billion won and expanding tax deductions for research and development investments.

The world's VR hardware and software market is expected to rise to $2.2 billion this year with the figure projected to reach 80 billion in 2025, the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said, citing data from the global investment giant Goldman Sachs.

This photo, taken on Sept. 28, 2016, shows President Park Geun-hye speaking during the opening ceremony of a regional development fair in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province. (Yonhap)

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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