Credit: Public domain
On August 13, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy 산업통상자원부 announced a joint plan by several ministries to promote the export of service industry products. Noting the increased demand for digital-based services and the “untact” or contactless services industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry stressed the need to balance the makeup of South Korea’s exports which are skewed significantly toward manufacturing. (Service exports currently is less than 20% of product exports.)
The plan identifies six promising service industries for export: entertainment, healthcare, edu-tech, digital service, fintech, and engineering. To promote these industries, the government plans to make financing easier to obtain, protect intellectual property, provide matching grants for research and development, assist corporations with creating a track record of success through government projects, and connect services with product exports. As of 2019, South Korea ranked 16th in the world in service exports; the government aims to be in the top 10 by 2025.