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Gov’t assigns 619 billion won for jobs in bio, health, more

Sept 12,2018
The government plans to create 100,000 jobs in the bio, health, software and intellectual property industries by 2022 and plans to allocate 618.7 billion won ($548.6 million) of the state budget to achieve its goals.

It hopes to create 500,000 jobs within the next four years when including other high-tech fields such as energy, future cars, semiconductors and displays.

The plan was announced during a meeting of the Presidential Committee on Job Creation in Seoul on Tuesday.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare’s report proposed creating 900 start-ups in the next four years in the bio and health industry. This would be 200 more than the 700 bio health start-ups created under the previous Park Geun-hye administration.

It will also finance programs for 10,000 students in the bio and health fields while supporting next-generation technologies, including big data analysis, precision treatment, such as customized cancer cures, and regeneration technologies by lifting regulations and expanding investments in research and development.

The government will support the global expansion of Korean medical equipment and diversify the export markets for cosmetics companies riding the popularity of Hallyu, or the Korean wave of pop culture.

If it all goes as planned, the government estimates that roughly 186,000 jobs will be created in the bio and health industries.

“The bio and health industries, such as pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and cosmetics have been seeing continuous growth in the global market, as interest in Korea’s aging population and health has been expanding,” the ministry said in a statement. “A new market has been created thanks to the application of the latest technologies, including artificial intelligence and gene information.”

The ministry estimates that, in 2015, the medicine industry was worth 1,206 trillion won, cosmetics were worth 477 trillion won and the medical equipment market was worth 368 trillion won. This outweighed the global automotive market at 600 trillion won and semiconductors at 400 trillion won.

Jobs in the local bio and health industries grew by 5.6 percent from 113,000 in 2013 to 144,000 in 2017. The Ministry of Science and ICT plans on fostering 40,000 experts in the software industry, improving the environment for new software start-ups.

This includes a plan to expand the number of universities that will focus on software training from 25 in the first half of this year to 35 in 2019. It expects this will help educate 20,000 new software experts. It plans to announce the first five additional universities next month.

The government estimated that roughly 24,000 jobs will be created in the software industry by 2022.

The Korea Intellectual Property Office plans to work with schools and companies to provide education on intellectual property and help students licensed as intellectual property experts get hired at companies. It plans to create 6,200 jobs in the sector. It also plans to provide 2,100 jobs for high school graduates who graduate from schools that specialize in product development and inventing while also connecting them with opportunities in the private sector.


BY LEE HO-JEONG [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr]


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