Deregulation for growth
President Moon Jae-in held an innovative growth strategy meeting on Nov. 28 and stressed that timely regulatory reforms are necessary. He was frustrated and asked why the deregulation was not implemented for the past 20 years.
What Moon pointed out is exactly what worries businesses. Industries with growth potential and technologies cannot move forward due to regulations. The most notable one is the Service Industry Development Act, which the Democratic Party opposes due to medical privatization and remote medical services. With an aging population, developed countries integrate medical technology and IT in the medical industry to create jobs. In Korea, applications that collect fitness information and offer remote diagnoses and consultation are useless.
The Institute for Basic Science had to conduct joint research in the United States due to bioethics regulations, even when it has world-class genetic scissors technology. Regrettably, the U.S. research team was given leadership in the research outcomes.
The government presented the fourth industrial revolution response plan, but the special act on the regulation-free zones, which allows certain regions to host new industries like drones, IoT and self-driving vehicles, is pending in the National Assembly as it offers special favors to the conglomerates.
Various businesses based on Big Data — the key element of the fourth industrial revolution — are being confounded by the Private Information Protection Act. The distribution industry creates twice the number of jobs than the manufacturing sector, but the operation regulations that require mandatory closures make the flexible use of people and resources impossible and illegal.
It is the fourth industrial revolution era.
If we adhere to past regulations, we cannot be sure we will not lose all the capacity for new industries and opportunities for economic growth in other countries. As Moon said, it is necessary that we introduce negative regulations and a total regulatory cost system, as businesses have been asking for 20 years.
On Dec. 4, Seoul National University emeritus Prof. Lee Chun-pyo concluded a hearing on cryptocurrency by saying, “I am surprised that the legislature was focused on regulations in the short term. I am sorry to speak negatively of the National Assembly, but a uniform ban is not desirable, as many companies are now conducting innovative experiments.”
His advice is something that the National Assembly and the government need to seriously brood over.
JoongAng Ilbo, Dec. 6, Page 33
*The author is an industrial news reporter of the JoongAng Ilbo.