Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Korea's Growth Engines: Robotics

South Korea's robotics industry may be set to take off and could become an important growth engine for the nation's economy. On February 26, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy announced that a law intended to encourage the development and distribution of intelligent robots had passed the National Assembly. In a 2006 article, the New York Times noted that If all goes according to plan, robots will be in every South Korean household between 2015 and 2020. That is the prediction, at least, of the Ministry of Information and Communication, which has grouped more than 30 companies, as well as 1,000 scientists from universities and research institutes, under its wing. Some want to move even faster. In December of last year the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) announced that it concluded a contract with International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in order to promote the international standardization of network robot. To do so, they plan to organize a specialist group and jointly hold workshops. Although South Korea's current market share in the robotics industry worldwide is small, it appears to have great potential. As Korea.com noted, "Korea’s potential in the robot industry is among the best in the world, armed with highly developed associated industries, such as consumer electronics, automobiles and communication equipment. The country’s superior IT infrastructure and rapid acceptance of new technologies will help boost growth, too." More on this industry in future posts.

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