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Moon says Korea needs new type of regulations

Jan 23,2018
President Moon Jae-in said the government will cut red tape that is holding Korea back in new industries and technologies for the sake of global competitiveness.

The president said Korea’s regulatory system has to be overhauled to allow new technologies and businesses to be introduced to markets first and then consider regulatory regimes, not the other way around.

On Monday, Moon hosted his first major discussion on deregulation at the Blue House that included top Blue House aides, government officials as well as representatives of political parties.

“We need an innovative approach that is bold in the sense that it has never been attempted in the past,” Moon said at the meeting.

“There’s a need to reexamine the idea that [new] businesses are permitted only when there’s a regulation basis.”

Moon said that although past administrations have made similar attempts, the public never felt any change because at the same time new regulations were established. He said red tape should not lead Korean businesses to fall behind in global competitiveness in innovative technologies and businesses.

“Even if there’s a regulation in existing laws, a product should be able to have trials if it can be commercialized in the market,” Moon said.

The president cited the example of compact electric vehicles with two seats or less being frozen out of Korea because such vehicles are not included in existing automotive categories.

“The center of innovative growth is the private sector as well as SMEs,” Moon said. “And it is the role of the government to support the private sector so that its innovative capacity can be realized.”

He said that innovative changes in regulations will also provide an opportunity for young people to take up challenges.

The government on Monday named 38 projects that would adopt a regulatory system that will in principle allow everything and only ban things that are later proven to be dangerous. This is the opposite of the past regulatory system, in which only things stipulated in the regulations are allowed.

One such project is reforming the law to allow the development of biopharmaceutical drugs for any disease. Currently, drug developers are limited by law to certain diseases such as cancer or AIDS.

The new regulatory system will allow companies to be more aggressive.

Other areas including ICT, fintech and industrial convergence are expected to see reforms in regulations.

BY LEE HO-JEONG [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr]