Korea Needs Bold IT Roadmap

Korea has established a leading role as an innovator in information technology and telecommunications, but with other nations catching up, it is crucial for the country to find new growth areas to maintain its edge.

Therefore, the government is willing to spend an outlandish amount of taxpayer money in developing the next-generation of high-tech services and products, which would make companies richer, boost employment and revolutionize the way people live and do work.

Stressing the need for a new, long-term strategy for the information technology sector amid worries of a flattening growth trajectory, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy released an ambitious five-year, 3.5 trillion won ($35 billion) plan last week that it said would propel progress.

However, rather than revealing a fresh approach or purpose, the “New IT Strategy” seems more like a watered-down version of the “IT 839″ program pitched by the previous government, which has yet to deliver on many of its bold promises.

“Hope the government is right this time,” said an official from a Korean software company, who didn’t take the ministry’s initiative to nurture 10 world-class software makers by 2012 seriously.

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