'Act as First Mover, Not Fast Follower'

MKE Minister calls for a new milestone of breaking $1 trillion in annual trade

(left) MKE Minister Choi Kyung-hwan chats with the heads of organizations under control of the ministry. MKE Minister Choi speaks at the New Year's meeting.

Minister of Knowledge Economy (MKE) Choi Kyung-hwan said in his New Year's message, "Despite the uncertainties in the global economy, the Korean economy has moved upward another stage as the nation has posted a record high of exports and trade balance to rise to the global top seven biggest exporters. Based on this, Korea achieved some 6 percent growth, becoming one of the OECD countries with the speediest recovery rates. In particular, Korea was the first Asian country to host the G20 Seoul Summit, boosting its international standing."
Minister Choi expressed the hope the Korean economy will set another milestone of shattering the $1 trillion trade barrier for next year, joining a group of eight countries that have already surpassed the $1 trillion mark, including the United States, Germany and Japan, and become a full-fledged economic power. "We at the MKE will make flat-out efforts to make 2011 the first year of the new decade for ushering in an era of $1 trillion trade."
He said the government will continue to implement policies so that large-sized companies, SMEs and domestic demand can grow together while enhancing their competitiveness. "We'll devote ourselves to creating an environment in which large-sized companies and SMEs can grow simultaneously in a way that benefits each other and such collaboration can spread to every nook and corner of our industrial structure, including small- and medium-sized retailers and self-employed business people."
Nourishing potential SMEs, regional industries and the service sector and contributing to economic growth and creating jobs are the most significant tasks the Korean economy will have to handle, said the minister. He added that the government will strive to foster world-class SMEs, transform industrial complexes, the incubators for industrial activities and job creation, into creative spaces with a refreshing setting offering opportunities for learning, thus contributing to the hiring of youth, and tailor knowledge-oriented industries to meet the demands of future generations.
Choi called for securing a competitive edge in core sectors amid new paradigms воиг convergence and green воиг to keep the economy growing. He noted that Korea has so far made strenuous efforts to catch up with advanced countries as the so-called "fast follower," but now is the time for the nation to spearhead new technology, product and market areas as the "first mover." He added that if the nation accelerates R&D activities in future industries, making the most of world-class mainstay industries, and foster such core areas as software, it will give Korea new opportunities.
The government, he said, will endeavor to develop the new and renewable energy industries into mainstay exporting fields and win the second and third nuclear power unit export orders from abroad following the nationOs 2009 landing of a nuclear power deal with the United Arab Emirates. To this end, the minister said, the government will strive to ensure a stable supply of energy and resources while conducting a nationwide drive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and preserve energy.
Choi said the government will also strive to carry out its external and internal roles and responsibilities corresponding to the nationOs standing as one of the G20 countries by strengthening cooperative partnerships with emerging markets, including those in Africa and Asia.

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