Gov’t raises budget for creative economy

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Gov’t raises budget for creative economy

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The Park Geun-hye administration has earmarked a bigger slice of the national budget for the “creative economy” for next year than it did this year, reaffirming its commitment to the flagship policy that many say comes only second to welfare in priority.

Last Thursday, the government proposed a 357.7 trillion won ($332.8 billion) 2014 national budget, 105.9 trillion won of which, or nearly 30 percent, focused on welfare, health and employment.

The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning yesterday unveiled the size of its budget, 13.6 trillion won, an increase of 5.8 percent from this year’s budget compared to a 4.6 percent overall increase in the national budget.

About 2.55 trillion won from the budget will be spent on the creative economy, a whopping 11.1 percent increase from this year, the ministry said.

The ministry’s R&D budget for next year stood at 6 trillion won, which it said accounts for 34.3 percent of the national budget earmarked for government-funded R&D projects, 17.5 trillion won. It was up 8.7 percent from this year.

“We have set this budget to help further the creative economy, expand R&D and foster new industries in ICT such as software and contents industries,” said an official at the ministry.

The ministry said it will inject 102 billion won into fostering projects related to the creative economy, including creating a “creative economy town,” (11.4 billion won), synergy of science technology and ICT (27.4 billion won) and laying the groundwork for transforming ICT-related technologies into a cash-cow business (10.2 billion won).

About 322 billion won will be put into developing space technology, while 381.7 billion won will be used for an international science business belt project, the ministry said.

The ministry allocated 1.57 trillion won for ICT industry-related projects, and 50 billion won of that will be funneled through a new Digital Contents Korea Fund.

BY MOON GWANG-LIP [joe@joongang.co.kr]

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