(ATTN: UPDATES with details throughout; ADDS photo)
By Kang Yoon-seung
SEOUL, Aug. 17 (Yonhap) — The South Korean Ministry of Economy and Finance announced a set of measures on Thursday to promote the development of the country’s artificial intelligence chip and urban air mobility (UAM) industries.
The plan includes accelerating the building of data centers with domestic AI chips and providing more financial assistance for the production of such semiconductor products by fabless companies, in an effort to challenge the global AI chip market, which is mainly dominated by U.S.-based Nvidia Corp.
“We intend to take proactive measures to eliminate regulations that impede investment, reduce barriers for emerging industries and enhance the investment environment for businesses,” Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho said during a meeting with economy-related ministers.
South Korea will also create a task force of government bodies to establish a frequency exclusively for the UAM industry to lead the setting of global standards. To accelerate the development of self-driving cars, the government has revised privacy laws to allow companies to use videos taken by the vehicles to build a database.
The Ministry of Economy and Finance also declared that it plans to designate used EV batteries as a recyclable resource instead of disposable waste. In addition, the government has promised to lift regulations to facilitate seven private sector investments worth 7.2 trillion won (US$5.36 billion). These projects include the construction of a hydrogen charging station near a railroad and the building of a biotechnology cluster in Osong, 108 kilometers south of Seoul.
Moreover, the country will expand the drone flight zone in the central cities of Sejong and Daejeon to support a drone delivery service project.
As for exports, Choo said South Korea will roll out cross-government efforts to speed up the recovery amid signs of a rebound. South Korea’s exports decreased for the tenth consecutive month in July due to weak demand for semiconductors, but the country reported a trade surplus for two consecutive months.
“The country will expand support for trade finance, marketing and overseas certification projects, and roll out additional measures to diversify export products and destinations,” Choo said.