Korea announces strategy to expand e-commerce

Seoul, Feb 15 Asia Pulse - The Korean government will change the e-commercesystem from the current one focused on cyber shopping malls to B to B(inter-company) e-commerce and cyber trading. It also will expand B to B e-commerce to Korea's eight priority industries,including automobile and electronics.

Seoul, Feb 15 Asia Pulse - The Korean government will change the e-commerce system from the current one focused on cyber shopping malls to B to B (inter-company) e-commerce and cyber trading.

It also will expand B to B e-commerce to Korea's eight priority industries, including automobile and electronics. Tax deductions on investments in e-commerce will be introduced within the year and e-commerce departments will be set up in more universities, according to the government's comprehensive strategies to activate e-commerce announced Tuesday.

The government decided to advance five major policies and 40 detailed projects with 16 related authorities to transform Korea into an e-commerce leader by 2003. The meeting at Chongwadae was attended by President Kim Dae-jung, related ministers and industry officials.

Included in the major policies are the passage of related laws and system within the year to secure confidence in the market, expansion of infrastructure, promotion of e-commerce in the public and private sectors and establishment of a base for cyber trading.

The Commerce, Industry and Energy Ministry will invest 7.27 billion won (65 million US dollars) by 2002 to introduce B to B e-commerce to electronics, automobile, steel, shipbuilding, heavy industry, textiles, electric power and distribution.

The Planning and Budget Ministry will select leading e-commerce public companies such as the Korea Electric Power Corp., Pohang Iron and Steel and Korea Telecom and pull up their rate of supply based on e-commerce by 50 percent by 2001.

The Defense Ministry will advance CALS/EC establishment in the defense sector by three years to 2002 and conduct procurement via electronic data interchange (EDI) from next year. The Construction and Transportation Ministry and Procurement Agency will complete an EDI procurement system by 2002 and this year, respectively.

The government will also revise the foreign trade act to cyber trade support act, set up cyber trade dispute settlement organization and introduce tax deductions on system establishment, consulting cost and purchase of software and hardware for e-commerce within the year. It also plans to guide universities to expand or set up e-commerce majors, expand related education in vocational high schools and launch e-commerce state examinations in the latter half of this year.

The comprehensive measures will be reviewed by an e-commerce policy council, which is led by the vice commerce, industry and energy minister and 16 related authorities and industry officials participating. The government expect the effects of cost reduction to be worth 15 trillion won in the industry sector and 16 trillion won in public sector and GDP expansion of 0.8 percent after 2003 if the comprehensive measures are implemented as scheduled.

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