SEOUL, May 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korea unveiled its first five-year plan Friday to support a massive investment by private companies in the advanced industries of semiconductors, displays, batteries and bio by extending subsidies, nurturing talents and easing regulations.
The plan is meant to help companies in the strategic industries make a planned investment of 500 trillion won (US$377.67 billion) combined by 2027 without a hitch so as to secure technology prowess and better ensure economic security, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
Under the plan, the government will earmark 4.6 trillion won for research and development projects to help companies develop key technologies.
It is pushing to speed up administrative procedures regarding some mandatory state approvals for business activities and remove unnecessary regulations, and plans to open more courses at graduate schools to nurture experts in those fields.
The government will designate more technologies in the four key areas as the national strategic ones to offer more incentives and other benefits, and will add future vehicles, nuclear power generation, the defense industry and robots, among other sectors, to the category for greater state support.
The government has been making all-out efforts to nurture advanced industry sectors as a future national economic growth engine.
In February, the National Assembly passed a revision of the Act on Restriction of Special Taxation, also dubbed the K-Chips Act, which calls for raising the tax credit rate for chipmakers to 15 percent from the current 8 percent, while the rate for smaller businesses will increase to 25 percent from 16 percent.
A set of measures was announced during a commission meeting on the national advanced strategic industry, which was attended by Prime Minister Han Duck-soo; SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, who chairs the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and Naver CEO Choi Soo-yeon.
"Advanced technologies and manufacturing capacities are seen as national security assets," the ministry said. "The government will spare no effort to support the new industries."