South Korea to Designate Biopharmaceuticals as National Strategic Industry, Aiming to Double Bio Exports by 2030


The government of South Korea has announced plans to designate biopharmaceutical manufacturing as a national strategic technology. The goal is to become the world’s top biotech economy by 2030, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. The government aims to raise the sector’s production capacity to 100 trillion won (US$76.9 billion) and to achieve $50 billion per year in exports by that time.

Currently, only vaccine related technologies are designated as the national strategic ones in the bio sector, but the government seeks to expand the scope to a broader biopharmaceutical field to offer tax incentives, and other infrastructure and administrative support.

In order to promote exports, South Korea seeks to forge a bioeconomic partnership agreement with major global partners, set up supportive centers for Korean bio companies doing businesses overseas and offer trade financing worth 360 trillion won.

Industry minister Lee Chang-yang and senior officials of major domestic bio firms, including Samsung Biologics Co., Celltrion Inc., SK Bioscience Co. and CJ Cheiljedang Corp., held a roundtable meeting and discussed a set of industry promotion strategies.

“The bioindustry will be our future growth engine and needs strategic support. The government will implement the measures in earnest to turn to the world’s major bioeconomy,” Lee said.

The government also plans to come up with a road map for research and development of raw materials, components and equipment needed for the sector with homegrown technologies to boost their localization rate to 15 percent by 2030 from the current 5 percent. It seeks to set up a special bioindustry zone and to devise programs to help young entrepreneurs establish biotech startups. The government also vowed to nurture the new biomaterials sector and to promote the use of eco-friendly bioenergy through regulatory reforms and various research projects.

This file photo shows President Yoon Suk Yeol (R) viewing a wearable device for epilepsy patients, developed by SK Biopharmaceuticals Co., before attending a meeting in Seoul on Feb. 28, 2023, with health industry executives, scholars and doctors to discuss ways to create new markets related to biohealth. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

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