Korea aims to raise culture exports


HONG KONG -- South Korea's new president, Lee Myung-bak, wants Korea to become the world's fifth-largest producer of cultural content by 2012, Lee said at a policy briefing Friday.

"South Korea is now ranked ninth in the world's market for culture and contents, with its global market share at a mere 2.8%," Lee said. "We can raise the ranking to fifth by 2012, if government and related organizations and professionals join forces."

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said that cultural content exports totaled $1.6 billion in 2007, but it hopes to increase that to $7.8 billion by 2012.

In order to develop Korea's cultural industries, government plans include developing a computer graphic research center, providing tax benefits and low-interest loans, and cracking down on piracy and copyright violators.

In addition, the ministry will build hundreds of concert halls, art galleries, libraries and museums over the next five years, in order to attract more tourists.