Culture Ministry vows to make 2021 a year of recovery

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Culture Ministry vows to make 2021 a year of recovery

The First Vice Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Oh Yeong-woo gives an overview of the culture ministry's plans for 2021, which will focus on recovering from the damages incurred last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. [YONHAP]

The First Vice Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Oh Yeong-woo gives an overview of the culture ministry's plans for 2021, which will focus on recovering from the damages incurred last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. [YONHAP]

 
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism vowed to make 2021 a year of recovery, tolerance and development, overcoming the damage incurred during the Covid-19 pandemic.
 
In its annual business plan overview for the year on Monday, the ministry announced its main goals will focus on reviving the virus-stricken culture industry and building a sturdy foundation for the future through new support systems and projects, mainly in five categories: Expanding loans and offering 25 billion won ($22 million) in funding for arts and entertainment businesses that have been hindered by the coronavirus; establishing insurance policies and basic living support systems for freelance artists; innovating the sports field to ensure healthy growth; reinvigorating the tourism sector; and nurturing the content industry to continue the New Hallyu Promotion Policy to spread Korean content to the global market.
 
The Culture Ministry kicked off the New Hallyu project last year, seeking to export Korean content and culture through already successful Hallyu content, such as K-pop, games and films. A total of 11 governmental bodies came together to set up the New Hallyu project team, taking into account three main missions: Diversifying Hallyu content, leading relevant industries’ growth through Hallyu and establishing the foundation for the sustainable spread of Hallyu.

 
Part of this year’s New Hallyu project will include exporting four of Korea’s strongest business sectors to the overseas market — culture, hansik (traditional Korean food), beauty and products developed by small and medium sized businesses  through collaboration with different fields. The ministry will fund 6 billion won to facilitate collaborative projects among different entities, such as a Hallyu star working with a small-sized company.
 
“The goal is to make sure that it’s not simply about promoting an already-established project using famous stars, but creating important content together from scratch,” explained an official from the culture ministry. An open competition will be held to decide which companies get funding.
 
Online platforms for content exports and networking will also be strengthened to allow local content producers to have their work uploaded and viewed by potential buyers from different parts of the world. One billion won will be spent on advancing the Welcon website, run by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, to bring together related information. The Korea Creative Content Agency’s “ON: Hallyu” event will also take place annually to allow different creative minds to get a chance to promote themselves.
 
Twenty-five billion won’s worth of funding will go to training and supporting potential workers in the film industry. Some 1.7 million people will receive culture consumption coupons worth 8,000 won while the tourism sector will get a 549 billion won loan and 45 billion won support to recovery from Covid-related damages. Sixty-five state-run museums will get 100 million won each to develop their online platforms to allow non-contact services and 20 of them will receive 500 million won to set up online programs using immersive content. The K-pop industry will get 26.5 billion won to use for the set up of online concerts.
 
“Everyone suffered hard times last year due to Covid-19, but it was sad to see that those serving in the culture, sports and tourism fields suffered more than anyone else,” said Minister Park Yang-woo. “The Culture Ministry will gather all power to make sure that the people’s lives come back to normal in 2021, that we become a more tolerant society and make Korea an outstanding player in the world this year.”
 
BY YOON SO-YEON    [yoon.soyeon@joongang.co.kr]
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