South Korea to spend nearly US$7.5bil on digital New Deal in 2022

South Korea is investing in a big way into its digital economy, pumping in RM31.47bil to foster new tech industries related to the metaverse and AI. — AP Photo

South Korea said Wednesday it will invest 9tril won (RM31.47bil) this year as part of its digital New Deal program to foster new tech industries in areas related to the metaverse and artificial intelligence.

The New Deal was unveiled in 2020 with the aim of investing around 58tril won (RM202.99bil) in key digital technologies, namely network infrastructure and artificial intelligence, to create some 900,000 jobs by 2025, according to Yonhap news agency.

The central government will contribute 9tril won (RM31.47bil) in New Deal projects this year, up 8.4% from 8.3tril won (RM29.05bil) spent last year, the Science and ICT Ministry said.

The ministry said 5.9tril won (RM20.65bil) will be disbursed to developing technologies based on data, networks and artificial intelligence (AI), such as self-driving cars and smart factories.

It added that the government will also use 800bil won (RM2.8bil), up from last year's 500bil (RM1.74bil), to foster hyper-connected industries, including the metaverse and cloud services.

It will allocate 34bil won (RM118mil) from the budget to start developing a new metaverse platform in February and another 16.8bil won (RM58.8mil) to produce cultural content.

Around 500bil won (RM1.74bil) will be earmarked for virtual services, including remote education and smart medical systems, and 1.8tril won (RM6.3bil) for the digitisation of social overhead capital, which includes projects such as installing road infrastructure with self-driving technology. – Bernama
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