Sat, Jul 17, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Panel urges government to encourage media exports


The government should learn from South Korea in promoting its movie and television industry and should create an environment conducive to exports of its media and cultural products, an industry advisory committee of the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.

Members of the committee, which held its first meeting this year, said that South Korean TV series have become one of that country's major export items in recent years, enjoying wide popularity in Asia as well as in the rest of the world.

They cited statistics provided by South Korea's Ministry of Culture and Tourism to show that the country's exports of TV series alone amounted to US$7.61 million in 1999, a figure that jumped to US$12.35 million in 2001.

The combined production value of the TV, film and computer game sectors was US$7.16 billion in 1999 and surged to US$10.88 billion in 2001, they said. The figures do not include extra tourism revenue and related product exports resulting from the popularity of South Korean TV series, they added.

They attributed the success of South Korea's cultural creativity sector to government support.

The committee members said that, although the Cabinet has included the domestic digital content and cultural creativity sectors in its ambitious "Challenge 2008" national development project, it has not put in place complementary measures to facilitate its implementation.

They pointed out that South Korea has been active in developing its cultural content industry since 2000. It has encouraged businesses to invest in film production by offering tax incentives or low-interest loans, and has constructed complexes to provide for the production of feature and TV films. The South Korean government has also implemented a quota system on foreign imports, as well as ratios of the number of films made in South Korea to be shown in theaters and on television.

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