An MOU to Create Jobs

The contents industry to benefit from MOU signed by the MCST and SMBA

Minister Yu In-chon of the Ministry of Culture, Sports
and Tourism, right, holds the MOU with Administrator
Kim Dong-sun of the Small and Medium Business
Administration they signed on Dec. 21 to help SMEs in Korea.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) and the Small and Medium Business Administration (SMBA) signed on Dec. 21 an MOU for cooperation to help SMEs in such areas as contents, tourism, sports and media in connection with policies of the SMBA to support their growth.
At the signing event, presided over by Director Kim Cheol-min of Cultural Industry Policy at the MCST, both signatories understood that the cooperative tie-up will pave the way for the development of culture, tourism and sports, the sectors whose importance in the national economy has been rising in recent years, thus the need for cooperation between the ministry and the SMBA to draw up strategies to spur their growth.
First of all, under the cooperative agreement, the environment for investment in the contents industry will be drastically improved as the ministry has invested 270 billion won in the Cultural Account of the Fund of Funds to launch 31 cooperatives with assets of 581.3 billion won as of Nov. 30, 2010.
Through these cooperatives an additional investment of 413 billion won over 677 projects was made, and some of the projects were very successful - providing investment returns from 40 percent to 270 percent, many of them in motion pictures such as "Haewoondae," "National Representative" and "Excess Speed Scandal."
From 2011 to 2012, some 200 billion won, including 80 billion won in government funds, will be invested in various content projects designed to boost Korean content makers' capacities in international terms.
But up until now, the Small and Medium Enterprise Support Law, the basis law for the operation of start-up funds, restricted inter-affiliate investment, barring large firms capable of undertaking large projects from participating in those projects. As such, there have been indications that the special nature of the content industry has not been able to be fully reflected.
The MOU will pave the way for the removal of most of the restrictions on inter-affiliate investment, allowing large firms to invest in the content industry by revising the law's implementation decree.
The move will invigorate large firms' participation in the content business areas including genres where their participation was previously limited, picking up speed in the development of the cartoon and other low return areas in the content industry through increased investment.
Another outstanding feature of the MOU is that it will also have the SMBA and the MCST cooperating in the establishment of many one-man creative enterprises as a means to increase jobs for young people by expanding the market for creativity products. So far, the ministry has relied on the Korea Creative Content Agency for the creation of one-man creative firms and the SMBA has relied on the Small Enterprise Development Agency.
But with the initiation announcement of the Law on the Growth of One-man Creative Enterprises made by Rep. Chung Tae-gun, the legal base for the promotional policies for those enterprises is expected to be created.
The two signatories to the MOU have agreed to cooperate in getting the draft law approved by the parliament as early as possible, along with such additional areas as the commercialization of ideas and support businesses, organization of forums on one-man creative enterprises and their success, and other events related to the fostering of the firms.
Under the MOU, small and medium-sized firms in the tourism industry will also get support. The food and lodging industry, excluded in the Small and Medium Enterprise Support Law, will be included in the law this time on the proposal made by the ministry. Tourist hotels will also be included in the Small and Medium Manpower Support Special Law as considered by the ministry and the SMBA.
Both the MCST and the SMBA agreed to set up a cooperative council with the deputy minister of the Cultural Content Industry arm of the MCST and the deputy manager of the SMBA as co-chairmen, tentatively named the Small and Medium Enterprise Fostering Policy Council in the Area of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

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