|Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki, second from right, speaks during a ministerial-level meeting at Seoul Government Complex in Gwanghwamun, Monday. Yonhap|
Infrastucture Fund specified to advance digital, green projects
By Lee Kyung-min
The government will invest in 197 digital and green projects in 40 sectors via the Korean New Deal Fund, a government policy fund of 20 trillion won ($17 billion) designed to promote the Korean New Deal, defined by 160 trillion won of investments in the two sustainable growth areas.
Of the 20 trillion won, a third, or 7 trillion won, will be from government spending (3 trillion won) and state-run lenders (4 trillion won), with the remaining 13 trillion won to come from a private investors’ pool.
“Necessary changes will be made including spending plans and law revisions to help effective management and operation of the fund,” Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said during a ministerial-level meeting at Seoul Government Complex in Gwanghwamun, Monday.
The fund will be backed by the New Deal Infrastructure Fund, a publicly raised fund set up to invest in infrastructure needed to foster digital and green initiatives. Examples include the 5G network, cloud computing, blockchain, data centers, traffic systems, logistics and industrial complexes for eco-friendly energy plants, and facilities related to electric vehicles (EVs) and fuel cell vehicles (FCEVs) as well as for air treatment including dust filtration.
The 30 digital projects the fund will invest in are related to 5G network, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence-related smart technologies used for healthcare, drones, virtual reality (VR), as well as online gaming, movie production, education and financial software development.
As for the 17 green projects, the investment will involve solar batteries, hydrogen energy, autonomous vehicles, 4D scanning, smart home and smart city technologies, new drugs development and organic light-emitting diode (OLED) lighting.
The investment requirements will be applied less restrictively to allow investing in firms whose business plans include projects integrated with key designated items. Developers of the items’ core technologies will be able to draw investment.
The government will hold investor relations events in October with private firms, banks, insurers, pension funds and asset management firms. It will outline policy directives concerning the government drive to expand digital and green businesses, helping investors understand the expected benefits of making long-term government-led investments.
A special operating committee comprised of private experts will be set up by the end of October, and specifics on how a family of funds will be operated will be ready by November.
The manager of the fund will be will be shortlisted as early as December and the government-selected firm will begin operation of the fund in January 2021.