1st Ministerial Meeting on Innovation-driven Growth in 2020
2nd Ministerial Meeting on the Economy in 2020
Government to Promote Bio-industries
Deputy Prime Minister Hong Nam-ki presided over this year’s 1st Ministerial Meeting on Innovation-driven Growth held on January 15, that is, the 2nd Ministerial Meeting on the Economy. Plans to grow bio-industries and measures to promote the biohealth industry are main topics of discussion. DPM Hong talked about the job market data for December and full year 2019 at the beginning of the meeting, which had been released on the same day before the meeting.
The following is a summary of Deputy Prime Minister Hong’s keynote address.
Job Market, December and Full Year 2019
The economy added 516,000 jobs year-on-year in December 2019, hitting a 64 month high and continuing to grow significantly since last August. The employment rate improved in all age groups, except those in their 40s, and the unemployment rate remained unchanged, at 67.1 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively. Jobs for the 30s turned to a rise in 27 months, and jobs for those aged 15-64 increased by 208,000, despite a population decrease of 31,000 in the age group. Young adult employment rose 69,000, hitting the highest for December since 2005 at 43.8 percent, and unemployment fell 56,000, hitting the lowest for the month since 2007 at 7.3 percent.
Permanent jobs grew by 641,000 in December, hitting a 13 year high for the month and accounting for 70.4 percent of the total nonfarm payrolls. Unemployment insurance continued with its monthly increase of above 400,000 contracts since August. Throughout 2019, a total of 301,000 jobs were created, an over threefold increase from the previous year, and the employment rates among those aged over 15 and those aged 15-64 improved to 60.9 percent and 66.8 percent, respectively, both hitting the record highs.
The government will work to improve the job market for those in their 40s, as well as to make this positive trend continue in 2020
2020 Policy on Innovation-driven Growth
The 2020 policy on innovation-driven growth will be focused on promoting large-scale investment and improving regulations. We have decided to grow bio-industries as next generation growth engines to replace semiconductors. Bio-industries can provide solutions to future challenges, such as ageing population and resources running out, and their markets are expected to grow 6 percent every year globally, reaching a total of US $14.4 trillion, or 17,000 trillion won, in less than five years. Although Korea’s bio markets are worth only US $150 billion, or 170 trillion won, equivalent to 2.0 percent of the global market, they have strong potential to grow fast given the country’s strong infrastructure, such as human resources and facilities in healthcare.
Investment in bio-industries exceeded 1.0 trillion won for the first time last year, which was the second largest to IT investment. Exports of new pharmaceutical technologies hit the record high of 8.4 trillion won in 2019, as well as the first unicorn in the bio-industry was born. In order to support this positive developments, the government will seek ways to promote bio-industries, which will range from healthcare, food and resources to environment and energy. We have been working with a taskforce composed of experts from 10 public institutions and 10 research bodies.
Framework Policy to Develop Bio-industries
The framework policy focuses on seeking innovation in R&D, growing human resources, improving regulations, creating an environment that nurtures the industries and support commercialization.
- Draw up measures to support innovation in R&D: Build a big data system for bio researches and help develop core technologies
- Develop human resources who will be able to work on the industrial convergence of bio-data and bio-AI, as well as grow clinical design specialists
- Work on regulatory reform, starting from the reforming of bio-health regulations
- Work to create a healthy ecosystem in which startups can grow into scaleups and then finally into exporters, and draw up industry-specific support programs, such as green biotechnology support and white biotechnology support
Reforming of Biohealth Regulations
A total of 15 regulatory reform plans are to be worked on, which include plans to promote R&D on new technologies, help develop high-tech medical devices, foster preventive healthcare services and streamline the medical device approval system.
- Draw up guidelines on the use of private medical data and work on the fast construction of the five healthcare data centers, including the big data center and genome research center
- Introduce a fast track licensing process for high-tech medical devices and create a new licensing category for those with AR or VR solutions
- Allow more “direct-to-customer” genetic testing from 12 criteria to 56 to foster preventive healthcare services
- Ease regulations on manufacturing facilities, streamline the medical device approval system and improve advertising regulations
Reforming of the Public Sector
The government will continue with the public sector reform with an aim of making it work reflecting the following.
- Pursue inclusiveness, such as through human rights protection, citizen healthcare and fair labor markets
- Pursue safe and sustainable environment
- Respect citizens and communities, such as citizen activist groups and local economies
- Promote mutually beneficial business cooperation and job creation
Please refer to the attached pdf