Gov't promises support for retail digitalization

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Gov't promises support for retail digitalization

As online commerce booms during the pandemic, the government said it will support digitalization in the retail industry, the use of drones and robots in delivery and establishing a big data analysis platform.  
In a joint statement by multiple ministries Thursday, the government said it will inject over 300 billion won ($266.7 million) into supporting digitalization in the retail industry from 2021 through 2023.  
Among major strategies, the government said it plans to test 1,000 deliveries using drones by 2022 and supply 4,000 logistics-related robots by 2023.  
Drones are considered a promising mode of delivery in the future. Drones could help people avoid face-to-face contact in the delivery process, which is more attractive after the Covid-19 pandemic.  
Logistics-related robots include robots that help workers sort products at fulfillment centers as well as those that drive themselves for deliveries. The government said it plans to allow delivery robots to drive on roads in the future.  
The government promised a platform that offers standard data related to products that manufacturers, retailers and logistics companies can use for their business. Standard data includes barcodes, names, manufacturers and brands of products.  
Online commerce operators complained in recent meetings with officials that it is difficult for them to develop new services due to a lack of standardized databases of products sold online. While giant retailers have their own databases and data analysis systems, it has been difficult for small retailers and start-ups to access product-related data.  
The government said it plans to nurture experts in retail. Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said it will nurture 1,200 experts in retail sector in the next five years.  
In the course of supporting growth of online commerce, the government said it expects to create over 20,000 jobs in the retail sector.  
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