Gov’t unveils content goal and strategy

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Gov’t unveils content goal and strategy

As part of efforts to build the so-called creative economy backed by the Park Geun-hye administration, the government said yesterday it will expand the volume of Korea’s content industry to 120 trillion won ($105 billion) annually by 2017, up from 88 trillion won last year.

It will also lure more investment to a content-related fund managed by the Small and Medium Business Administration.

“On June 4, we [the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism] signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning. Since then, we have worked together to come up with ways to promote the country’s content industry,” said Culture Minister Yoo Jin-ryong. “Both ministries will aim to expand the content market to 120 trillion won by 2017 and reach $10 billion exports and create 80,000 jobs.”

Yoo made his remarks at a joint press briefing in Yeouido, western Seoul, with the future planning ministry and the finance and strategy ministry on boosting Korea’s service industry. Part of the briefing was dedicated to announcing plans on developing the content industry that includes music, games, movies and animation.

Culture ministry data show that despite the sluggish economy, content-related sales, exports and job-creation have continued to grow.

Last year, content exports were $4.8 billion and the total number of employed in the industry was 605,000, data showed. The average annual sales increase over the past five years was 8.6 percent overall, 19.7 percent for exports and 2.5 percent for jobs.

Yoo also said the government will increase the content-related fund from 920 billion won to 1.82 trillion won by 2017 to create an environment in which investors will be able to plough their money into creative content and related companies, and start-ups can receive loans with favorable conditions.

“The [extra] funding will come from both the public and private sectors,” said an official from the future planning ministry. “Though details haven’t been decided, we expect the ratio of investment to be 50:50, which could change depending on the private investment climate.”

The overall fund is being managed by the Small and Medium Business Administration, while individual accounts are managed by the culture ministry and future planning ministry.

Other detailed plans announced yesterday include establishing a foundation in which local content-related companies, including makers of films and games, can tap overseas markets. The government plans to open a global center for start-up companies this year to offer advice and assistance with entering overseas markets.

Also, the two ministries will create 23 Content Korea Labs by 2017, including eight focusing on cultural content and 15 on digital content. The labs will help nurture young people to contribute their talents to the content sector and expose them to high-tech equipment.

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