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(LEAD) S. Korea to create 2 startup centers in Finland, Sweden in 2020

All Headlines 16:24 June 07, 2019

(ATTN: CHANGES photo; ADDS details in 7th, 10th paras)
By Choi Kyong-ae

SEOUL, June 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will establish two startup centers in Northern Europe next year to help Korean venture firms strengthen their partnerships with local companies, the Ministry of SMEs and Startups said Friday.

The ministry will sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with its counterparts for the establishment of the Korea Startup Centers -- one in Finland and the other in Sweden -- during President Moon Jae-in's June 9-16 visit to the two countries and Norway, according to SMEs and Startups Minister Park Young-sun.

"The nations have a very advanced startup ecosystem, so we decided to send a delegation to the countries during the president's state visit," Park said in a press conference.

In this photo taken June 7, 2019, SMEs and Startups Minister Park Young-sun outlines the ministry's plan to set up startup centers in Finland and Sweden next year during a press conference in Seoul. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Through the centers, South Korean startups will be able to seek partnership opportunities with local companies in the two Northern European countries, she said.

The business fields in which Korean startups and their counterparts in Northern Europe can work together will include 5G, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, health care and autonomous vessels, she said.

In Norway, the Seoul government will also seek opportunities for bilateral business partnerships in the shipbuilding industry, the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry will sign an MOU with DNV GL, the Norwegian accredited registrar and classification society, to help Korean shipbuilders recognize the latest vessel technology standards and seek cooperation over new vessel technologies, according to Kim Moon-hwan, director general for global market policy at the ministry.

The country's investments in venture startups jumped 44 percent to 3.42 trillion won in 2018 from 2.38 trillion won a year earlier. The number of startups rose to 102,042 from 98,330 during the same period, the statement said.

The ministry also said it is planning to open similar centers in Seattle in August and New Delhi in September this year, Park said.

Asked if the government plans to open a Korea Startup Center in China, one of the world's two biggest startup markets along with the United States, the minister said it does not have such a plan for now.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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