Let private sector leadThe government has chosen 22 fields to be the focus of future growth engine projects.
The selected sectors include biotechnology, energy, environment, advanced mobile communications, new medicine and cultural content.
We need to take into account that these projects were not selected unilaterally by the government but with the lead taken by the private sector.
In the past, government officials chose growth engines with little or no consultation with the private sector.
This time, there is a new possibility for success as the private sector chose the fields that they wanted to concentrate on for development.
This has created a new model platform for industrial growth, in which the private sector led the way and the government supported the plan. If the projects are carried out successfully, Korea’s value-added output could increase to 576 trillion won ($520 billion) by 2018, from the present 116 trillion won.
Exports could go up to $795.4 billion by 2018 from $120.8 billion this year. In terms of employment, 2.3 million jobs could be created.
With big investments by companies, the projects are likely to yield better-than-expected results.
For success, the most important thing is determination by companies to invest.
If projects rely mostly on government funds, there is a good chance that the results will be poor.
Of course, for those investing, the burden of financial risk is a possibility. In the initial stages of the project, government support is necessary.
However, the actual execution of each project should be based on private sector support.
The government’s role should focus more on connecting one company to another or creating the grounds for companies to cooperate on technology development.
For this growth engine project, the government will spend 7.9 million won while 91.5 trillion won will come from private companies.
A total of 100 trillion won will be needed to carry out the projects in each field.
To secure private sector investment, the government must revise current laws and regulations to fit the future.
It is the government’s job to create a level ground for private companies to find their future fountains for profit.