Korea Development Bank (KDB) has been at the forefront of ushering in the 4th Industrial Revolution by helping build a new “growth intelligence system” and strengthen financial loan capacity.
The state-owned bank has been focusing on building an online database that delivers technological advances in the 4th Industrial Revolution as they occur to consumers and market demand trends.
State-owned banks, including KDB, the Export and Import Bank of Korea (Eximbank), the Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) and six others have a standard definition and real-time information on commodity groups and new growth industries related to the 4th Industrial Revolution.
KDB has also been tasked with the development of an integrated database construction by commodity groups and new growth industries related to the 4th Industrial Revolution by taking advantage of the know-how of the Korea Credit Information Institute (TDB) to expand the financial technologies together with the utilization of the cooperative system for the database.
KDB launched a loan service from the New Industries Growth Fund totaling 10 trillion won to be provided to the 275 commodities that will lead technologies to incubate the 4th Industrial Revolution and related industries. Big business firms will be charged with the interest rate of 0.3 percent per annum while SMEs will have to pay 0.6 percent per annum for loans they get from the fund.
In regard to research and development (R&D) in the scientific technology and information and communications technology (ICT) areas, the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) will significantly increase the proportion of free contests that allow researchers to choose a research topic and submit an application this year. It is also expanding investment in the software sector, the core foundation of the fourth Industrial Revolution, including artificial intelligence (AI).
The government will continue with restructuring industries that are suffering from a global oversupply while preparing for the fourth industrial revolution by upgrading their competitive edge.
At a ministers' meeting to strengthen industrial competitiveness, Strategy and Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho revealed the 2017 action plan for corporate restructuring of key sectors including shipbuilding, shipping, steel and petrochemicals. He said the restructuring system should work more effectively in the market.
"The country's key industries will face challenges such as trade protectionism by the United States' new administration, increasing volatility in interest rates and foreign exchange rates and tougher global competition to obtain leadership in the fourth industrial revolution," the minister said. At the center of the restructuring plan is shipbuilding, one of the national economy's main sustaining pillars. The industry, however, was severely hit in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, suffering falling global demand. The market outlook isn't positive yet, with orders in the global shipbuilding market this year expected to stand at below half of the annual average between 2011 and 2015.
Yoo said the government will focus on minimizing the side effects of restructuring while businesses speed up their self-rescue efforts.
The MSIP confirmed and released the “2017 comprehensive R&D Implementation plan for scientific technology and ICT sector” worth a total of 4.13 trillion won ($3.43 billion) on Jan. 1. The plan excludes research and operating costs of the National Research Council of Science & Technology (NST) and the NST-funded research institutes among the MSIP’s total R&D budgets of 6.77 trillion won ($5.62 billion), and includes detailed operation plans for the scientific technology sector of 3.14 trillion won ($2.61 billion) and the ICT sector of 989.6 billion won ($821.24 million).
The heart of the MSIP’s R&D plan this year is to proactively cope with the fourth Industrial Revolution era through creative R&D and strategically focus on the investment in technologies that can prepare for the fourth Industrial Revolution.