South Korea’s government has earmarked a 5 trillion won ($4.4 billion) budget toward its ‘Growth through Innovation’ investment program in eight critical sectors with a particular focus on blockchain and AI.
In a meeting in Seoul on Monday, South Korea’s finance minister Kim Dong-yeon confirmed plans of a 5 trillion won investment toward its innovation program in 2019, a sharp 65 percent increase from this year’s budgetary spend.
The South Korean government is keen on developing the infrastructure of a platform economy with a marked focus on blockchain, big data and artificial intelligence.
The finance ministry, as quoted by Korean publication Yonhap, said: “The measures will help facilitate the platform economy, which in turn will help speed up innovative growth.”
According to details from the ministry’s own website, the areas of big data, AI, blockchain and sharing economy has collectively seen an investment of 579.9 billion won ($511 million) in 2018. In 2019, Korea’s finance ministry reveals an investment of 1,040 billion won ($918 billion) for the sectors, a near 80% increase in investments into the spaces.
About building a ‘big data platform’, the Ministry said:
The government will focus on promoting big data and AI, developing blockchain technology to ensure data management security and boosting the sharing economy.
Separately, the government is also allocating a budgetary spend upwards of 60 billion won ($53 million) for ‘nurturing’ 10,00 specialists in eight promising sectors, which will also be aided by a 30 trillion won ($26 billion) investment by state-led companies, the ministry added.
The developments come at a time when the country’s ministry of science and ICT is actively promoting blockchain education among Korea’s youth. Further, the country’s Jeju Island has outlined a proposal to the central government to reveal its intention to become a ‘special zone for blockchain and cryptocurrency’ startups and firms wherein ICOs will be permitted in the province despite its ban in the mainland.