Government and industry to invest in smart factoriesThe private and public sectors agreed to increase the number of so-called smart factories in Korea on Thursday.
The goal is to have more than 30,000 factories operating with the latest digital and analytical technology by 2025. The government will lend support to help train 40,000 people to work in these smart factories.
“The government will give full support to have more than 30,000 smart factories by 2025 in order for the country to become a leader ahead of the fourth industrial revolution,” Trade Minister Joo Hyung-hwan said during a meeting with business organizations representing small and midsize companies.
Ten major sectors in the country will each have 4,500 smart factories by 2025, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy’s plan. The government will spend 215.4 billion won ($189.3 million) on research and development projects in smart factories through 2020.
Additionally, the government will create a 72 trillion won fund to help small and midsize exporters and chip in another 2.6 trillion won for their research and development projects. The Trade Ministry said it will lower interest rates for companies that request loans for building smart factories.
“More than 99.9 percent of companies in the country are small and midsize businesses, and government data shows their export performance continues to improve,” Joo said.
“We believe their roles are becoming larger and larger ahead of the fourth industrial revolution, and we will prioritize improving their exports and competitiveness through smart factories.”
The government said it will train 40,000 professionals in smart factories by 2025 through various educational programs and diversify the industries it supports. In addition to electronics, automobiles and steel, the government will provide funding for energy and fashion.
BY KIM YOUNG-NAM [firstname.lastname@example.org]