SEOUL, Feb. 6 (Yonhap) — The culture ministry on Tuesday unveiled its policy goals for this year, aiming to establish South Korea as a leading global cultural powerhouse and foster citizens’ happiness through cultural engagement.
According to the plans announced by Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Yu In-chon, the ministry will provide a record 1.74 trillion won (US$1.31 billion) in policy financing to boost South Korea’s competitive position in the global content market.
The sum includes a 600 billion-won “K-content strategic fund” dedicated to cultivating globally competitive intellectual property.
The record budget will be utilized to nurture key sectors of the industry, such as gaming, comic books, and webtoons, according to the ministry.
The industry’s exports set a record of $13.24 billion in 2022, a 6.3 percent increase from the previous year’s $12.45 billion, surpassing those of secondary batteries and home appliances.
The government will also enhance support for arts and cultural products seeking to advance to the global market, with the hope that the global boom of Korean pop culture, such as K-pop, TV dramas, films and webtoons, will spill over into other cultural sectors. For this, the government will increase its support for overseas distribution of creative Korean operas, ballets, musicals, fine arts, literature, and crafts through a wide network of cultural-arts institutions and groups at home and aboard.
Additionally, the upcoming 2024 Olympic Games in Paris will serve as a platform for bolstering Korea’s cultural presence on the global stage. Starting with a breakdance performance in May, performances by various national art groups will increase the festivity of the international athletic meeting in the French capital.
An exhibition of art pieces representing the Korean art scene will follow in July, along with a “hallyu”-themed trade fair and a K-pop concert co-hosted by related government offices in September. The government will also host an exhibition of Korean books and a tourism road show, among other events to promote the country.
Regarding plans to reduce the burden of leisure expenses on citizens, a trial run of the “youth culture and arts pass” will begin in late March, allowing individuals aged 19 to attend performances and exhibitions for free within a maximum limit of 150,000 won per person.
The government will support worker vacations for up to 150,000 people and provide discounts for accommodations with a maximum of 450,000 vouchers.
Also among the plans announced by the government was one to invigorate daily sports activities by citizens, thereby propelling the sports industry forward.