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Monday, March 4, 2024

The Korean Government to diversify export markets for K-content

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President Yoon Suk Yeol [PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE]

The Korean government announced plans to diversify export markets for Korean content, focusing on video games and webtoons with the aim of expanding to European, North American, and Middle Eastern markets.  

The fourth Export Strategy Meeting, hosted by President Yoon Suk Yeol on Thursday, stated it aims to be the “relief pitcher in rescue” of Korean culture exports by having the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism spend 1.1 trillion won ($848 million) this year, with a higher budget next year. 

Yoon emphasized the need for collaboration among the government, private companies and financial institutions under the name “Team Korea,” stating that “K-content has earned global popularity and seen an increase in total export sizes. Considering all the related effects on the front and backline [of related industries], the total economic effect is huge.” 

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Despite relatively less government support, Korean content export markets surpassed the export amount of the home appliances industry ($8.67 billion), secondary cell industry ($8.67 billion), display panel industry ($3.6 billion), and electric car industry ($6.99 billion) in 2021, with a total export amount of $12.45 billion. With strengthened support from the government, the goal is to double the Korean content export amount by 2027, with an average annual increase of 12.5 percent.  

To help grow the Korean content export market, which currently relies on Japan and Chinese-speaking regions for half of its exports, the government plans to support game companies wishing to compete in the console market in North America and Europe with 9 billion won, and 7.2 billion won for companies wishing to join other overseas markets providing technical and legal consulting, localization and marketing support.

The government also plans to help expand the K-pop and Korean game industries to the Middle East, allocating a budget of 4.5 billion won to help small and medium-sized K-pop agencies host showcases and join music festivals overseas.

The government aims to help Korean webtoon publishers occupy the foreign webtoon markets and boost demand with a budget of 3.87 billion won. It also plans to join renowned festivals, including the Angoulême International Comics festival in France and the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany, to aid Korean webtoons in connecting with foreign markets, with a budget of 2.38 billion won this year.

The government also acknowledges the rising popularity of Korean movies and dramas overseas, fueled by various streaming platforms. It also plans to spend 45.4 billion won to help producers and streaming platforms secure intellectual properties, 30 billion won to support the editing and localization process of content and 10 billion won to help smaller production companies expand to global markets.

BY CHO YONG-JUN [cho.yongjun1@joongang.co.kr]