Science ministry to launch special ICT commission
By Kang Yoon-seung
SEOUL, Feb. 14 (Yonhap) -- A special law went into effect Friday that creates a new commission to oversee the country's policies on the information, communication and technology sectors, the science ministry said.
The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said the commission, to be headed by the prime minister, will function as the "control tower" of South Korea's IT sector, improving efficiency in policymaking.
The new organization will include 24 other officials from related governmental bodies, including the Korea Communications Commission.
The ministry said the new commission will also make efforts to collect feedback from local companies on problems they experience in business activities to have them reflected in the country's policies. Its first meeting is slated for next month.
Along with the new headquarters, the special law also includes a plan to invest some 8.5 trillion won (US$7.9 billion) by 2017 to tap deeper into a handful of innovative technologies of the future, such as establishing fifth-generation mobile communication technology.
Under the law, the ministry will also provide a fast-track certification process for ICT-related products and guarantee against damages for goods released after inspection.
For products that cannot be sold in the market due to lack of guiding law, such as a smartphone application that can check blood pressure, the ministry said it plans to issue a temporary license while preparing legal support.
Science Minister Choi Mun-kee said the new ICT law comes in line with the country's creative economy vision, adding the ministry will seek a convergence of the IT technology with the agriculture, automobile and shipbuilding industries.
The creative economy, one of South Korea's key economic policies, calls for the creation of new and inventive business opportunities, and more jobs through the fusion of information technology with other sectors.