Seeking to boost a green-led economic recovery in the post-pandemic era, South Korea’s government vowed on January 13 to spend 30 trillion won ($27.35 billion) to support local exports of renewable energy and other clean technologies.
Deputy Prime Minister and finance minister Hong Nam-ki told a meeting of economy-related ministers: “South Korea should take a lead in the global market for green and digital businesses by embracing the ongoing paradigm shift to a green and digital economy triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“[The government] will make all-out efforts to help renewable energy companies expand their overseas contracts of green energy products to 30GW from the current 15GW. To do so, the authorities are planning to operate export financing programme worth 30 trillion won in phases over the next five years.”
In addition, Hong pledged to launch a series of state-run export insurance programmes targeting domestic renewable energy providers, while reducing the length of time taken by the finance ministry’s in its evaluation process.
The ministry hopes that expediting the evaluations, which assess the feasibility of local companies’ new overseas projects, will speed up their business activities in the global market.
The envisioned plans were designed to promote the Moon Jae-in administration’s “Korean New Deal” initiative, centred on two pillars – the Green New Deal and Digital New Deal – which aims to promote green growth initiatives as well as digital transformation across industries.
Against this backdrop, the fiscal chief also promised to ramp up policy drives to fuel exports in the country’s digital tech sector, including the information and communications technology market.
He said: “By 2025, [the government] will increase the amount of digital exports, which comprise the ICT manufacturing and related service businesses, to $250 billion from the latest figure of $180 billion estimated in 2019.”
Hong’s remarks came amid positive projections on the country’s exports of organic light-emitting diode panels this year, which are expected to soar nearly 20 per cent to reach $13 billion, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Korea Display Industry Association. OLED panels use self-illuminating pixels to produce lightweight, thin and flexible display products.
As part of a move to expand support for domestic companies exporting digital technologies, the finance ministry is planning to implement special funds worth 30 billion won this year, while setting up the so-called “global venture fund”, worth 200 billion won, designed to help local enterprises make inroad into the global market.
THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK