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(LEAD) Moon declares full cooperation with Finland to nurture startups

Science 19:47 June 11, 2019

(ATTN: ADDS photos)
By Lee Chi-dong

HELSINKI, June 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in announced specific plans Tuesday for full-scale cooperation between his country and Finland on fostering innovative startups and responding to the fourth industrial revolution.

He was addressing a forum, held in Helsinki, as part of the South Korea-Finland Startup Summit joined by hundreds of CEOs and representatives of tech-savvy firms operating in the two nations.

First, Moon said, the two sides will strengthen bilateral cooperation to establish an innovation-oriented "startup ecosystem."

On the occasion of Moon's three-day state visit to Finland, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work together for promoting startups and small-and medium-sized enterprises.

They agreed to set up a center for Korean startups in Finland.

"Today, public institutions of the both countries will also sign an MOU on the creation of a joint venture investment fund," Moon said.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (5th from R, front row), Finnish President Sauli Niinisto (standing to Moon's right) and other participants in the South Korea-Finland Startup Summit pose for a photo, wrapping up the event in Helsinki on June 11, 2019. (Yonhap)

In November, they plan to co-organize ComeUp, a startup festival in South Korea, modeled after the Slush, a famous not-for-profit startup and tech event that takes place in Finland.

"Second, the two countries will jointly respond to the fourth industrial revolution" especially in the 5G and AI sectors, Moon said.

South Korea, which has succeeded in commercializing 5G for the first time in the world, and Finland, which has begun the world's first study on 6G communication networks, are great partners, he added.

He cited a deal to forge sisterhood ties between the hearts of the two sides' technology development -- the Otaniemi district, a suburb of Helsinki, and the Daedeok research complex in Daejeon, some 160 kilometers south of Seoul.

"Third, the two countries will strengthen education cooperation to nurture creative, talented manpower and healthcare cooperation to adapt to an aged society," Moon said.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto unveil a mission for participants in the Hackathon contest, a program of the bilateral Startup Summit, in Helsinki on June 11, 2019. (Yonhap)

In the Startup Summit, Nokia Chairman Risto Siilasmaa introduced Finland's experience in fostering startups.

Park Yong-man, chairman of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), also attended it. Kim Bong-jin, head of the Korea Startup Forum, led South Korea's economic delegation to the event.

The delegation includes representatives from 53 startups and 25 venture capital and accelerator firms, according to the KCCI.

Kim is the founder and chairman of Baedal Minjok, a major food delivery app.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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