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Internet Concern Growing

Feb 18 (JoongAng Ilbo) - There are some concerns surrounding the current Internet venture industry, despite its present growth, in step with the recent economic recovery. Oh Soo-ick, professor at Seoul National University, said, "The success of today's U.

Feb 18 (JoongAng Ilbo) - There are some concerns surrounding the current Internet venture industry, despite its present growth, in step with the recent economic recovery.

Oh Soo-ick, professor at Seoul National University, said, "The success of today's U.S. economy is partly attributed to the continuing support that has been given to manufacturing circles since the 1990s. Now, the U.S. economy is outpacing the technologically-driven Japanese economy. It's time to redistribute the balance of national resources."

Internet businesses have created an enormous impact on the industrial paradigm, but at the core of most businesses is manufacturing. In the 90s, the superiority of the U.S. over the Japanese in the auto industry is a reflection of this manufacturing support, dating back to 1985.

A majority of experts agree that e-commerce is the future of international competitiveness. They have, however, divided opinions regarding the amount of investment that should be injected into these Internet businesses.

Kim Seung-jae, managing director of the Korea Industrial Technology Association, said, "We cannot merely depend upon online business, though, for the time being, continuous input is needed to build its infrastructure." He added that online commerce will grow in close connection with off-line business. In other words, the best e-trade firms will not become internationally competitive without manufacturing high quality goods, such as automobiles or shoes.

Internet venture businesses can be divided into small and large enterprises, not simply on- and off-line enterprises. Previously, national or industrial competitiveness had rested on the shoulders of large companies, but Internet venture companies are leading the mainstream in some fields by specializing in one or two areas.

Kim gives a high value to the bio-technology industry in this regard. In the U.S., while the internet venture realm is showing signs of slowing down, bio-technology companies remain in high gear. Research in life and health fields, such as the human genome project, have been producing tremendous results after ten years of steady investment close to $900,000.