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(LEAD) Seoul seeks drastic deregulation, more investment for innovative growth

All Headlines 14:18 May 17, 2018

(ATTN: ADDS more details in last para)

SEJONG, May 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will seek drastic deregulation and provide support to foster innovative growth, the country's finance ministry said Thursday.

Under a set of support measures, the government will provide funding and other incentives to eight key sectors such as smart farms, smart cities, fintech, drones and electric vehicles and artificial intelligence.

The government said it will take drastic measures to ease regulations that have been blocking new industries and technologies from moving forward.

Earlier, the ministry said the government will launch a 2.6 trillion won (US$2.4 billion) investment fund for startups this year, the first portion of a proposed 10 trillion won investment fund that is to be created by 2020.

During the second half of the year, the government will also launch an additional 660 billion won fund for that purpose.

The government said it will allocate 30 trillion won over the next three years to foster innovative startups and venture firms, create a virtuous business cycle and secure new growth engines.

Under the comprehensive plan, the government will focus on expanding the money supply for fledgling enterprises and creating a venture-friendly environment.

The ministry said venture startups and new businesses have been on the rise, with the total number of entities reaching an all-time high of some 100,000 last year.

Last year, investment into venture startups also hit a record high of 2.4 trillion won, according to the ministry.

The government spent a total of 379 billion won over the past five years to help more firms build smart factories.

Seoul is also providing a flurry of incentives to electric cars and other eco-friendly autos. The government said it will expand charging facilities and other infrastructure to sell an accumulated 350,000 eco-friendly cars by 2022.

Hyundai Motor Co. and other firms are planning to spend a combined 34.2 trillion won on eco-friendly cars over the next five years.

The ministry said a total of 300,000 jobs will be newly created by 2022 under the support measures, including some 44,000 from the drone-related industry.

(LEAD) Seoul seeks drastic deregulation, more investment for innovative growth - 1


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