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Development enters the next phase

Aug 25, 2018


With its transition from traditional to more advanced industries, South Korea wants to maintain its status as a leader in several industries - namely fintech, biotechnology and electronics. Industry associations, together with the government, are increasing support to SMEs in these sectors by providing them with assistance on research, funding and partnerships.

KOFIA Chairman Kwon Yong-won

With 65 years of experience, the Korea Financial Investment Association can attest to the growth of finance and increasing role of IT in the industry. KOFIA Chairman Kwon Yong-won is optimistic about the further integration of the two.

“The Korean financial investment industry is tech- friendly because of our strong IT infrastructure. The introduction of non-face-to-face identity verification, robo-advisor services and block chain-based authentication system (Chain ID) are major examples of advanced technologies that have allowed us to effectively respond to the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” Kwon said.

Meanwhile, Korea BIO, which was launched in 2008 through the integration of the bio, venture capital, and genetic engineering associations, is helping in the development of 300 Korean bio companies. In particular, it is working with the Ministry of Industry to run a long-term program for the creation of bio-industry eco-systems. In 2016, together they raised a $34.1 million fund to support Korea’s initial bio-ventures. In addition, they regularly hold training and investment seminars for early venture companies.

The Korea Electronics Association is another organization at the forefront of innovation. KEA seeks investments for new technologies in electronics and works closely with universities to drive research in areas, such as AI and IOT.

“Conversations are getting important in terms of AI and IOT. With that, we are working closely with Korea’s top players, such as Samsung and LG, as well as with SMEs and even vehicle and telecommunication companies to develop technologies for our industry,” KEA Vice Chairman Nam In-seok says.

For its part, the Korea Display Industry Association is working with MOTIE on a large R&D project to develop the display industry’s future technology, particularly for the benefit of SMEs developing and testing needs. 

“Tech development and advancement is crucial for the economy’s survival and growth,” KDIA   Vice Chairman Seo Kwang-hyun stresses.

“While home-grown giants such as Samsung and LG will continue to lead the global industry, we are here to make sure that a thriving Korea includes its smaller players,” Seo adds.

South Korea 2018 was prepared for and originally printed in Foreign Affairs magazine.

PDF of the printed report

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