Gov’t pins hopes on new technology committee

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Gov’t pins hopes on new technology committee

To promote the development of so-called fourth industrial revolution technologies, the government is creating a committee headed by a person from the private sector - a contrast to other presidential committees that President Moon Jae-in is personally chairing.

According to the Presidential Advisory Committee for State Affairs Planning, Moon’s de facto transition team, preparations for the forming of the committee will begin next month and its launch will be in August. Moon is directly supervising the plan.

The de facto transition team said the person who heads the committee will come from the private sector and be higher in status than government ministers. The second-in-command positions will be shared by the Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning and the Blue House policy chief.

“The committee will be setting the nation’s policy directions in regards to the fourth industrial revolution,” said Park Kwang-on, the de facto transition team spokesman. “It will be in charge of fine-tuning the policies of different [government] departments while also gauging public opinion and evaluating performances.”

The government intends fourth industrial revolution technologies to enter industrial fields and also the daily lives of the public, the spokesman said.

While the Ministry of Strategy and Finance has played a central role in developing technology policies, that role will be taken by the Science and ICT Ministry, which has a more direct connection to evolving technologies and related businesses.

The decision to invite an expert from the private sector to head the fourth industrial revolution committee is seen as the government’s attempt to encourage innovative technology changes led by the private sector. Past administrations’ concepts of new growth engine projects were mostly led by the government.

Moon selected a software expert from the private sector - You Young-min, former CEO of Posco Research Institute and vice president of LG CNS - as his nominee for the Science and ICT Minister.

But putting the head of the committee above the Finance Minister - who is also deputy prime minster for the economy - demonstrates how serious the administration is about the issue.

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

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