+ A

Trade Ministry banks on tech to boost jobs

Dec 19,2017

The government on Monday pledged to create 300,000 jobs by 2022 through investment in technologies related to the so-called fourth industrial revolution, including self-driving cars and electric vehicles.

In a report submitted to the National Assembly’s committee on trade issues, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said it would try to reshape the Korean economy by having manufacturers to diversify and go into new industries.

The ministry plans to create a 300 billion won ($276 million) fund to support companies that invest in five areas: the so-called Internet of Things that connects household objects with wireless devices, self-driving cars, electric vehicles, artificial intelligence and biopharmaceuticals.

To encourage development in regions outside the capital, the ministry will provide financial incentives to companies that relocate outside the Seoul metropolitan area.

Another goal, the ministry said, is to raise the competitiveness of small and medium-sized companies. The numerical objective is to have 80 medium-sized companies with annual revenue of 1 trillion won or more by 2022, up from 34 companies in 2015.

Hoping to take the lead in the electric vehicle market, the ministry will push to raise the number of green cars on Korean roads to 350,000 by 2022, up from 15,869 cars as of June this year.

Electric vehicle use has been rising sharply in Korea, growing from 458 cars in 2012.

Starting in 2020, the ministry also plans to allow self-driving cars to operate on highways.

BY KANG JIN-KYU [kang.jinkyu@joongang.co.kr]