At stake is how to maximize effects of reduced red tapes
The fusion of ICT-based technologies and services is entering into a new phase. At a meeting to check pending issues of the government, participants decided to implement a "regulatory sandbox" from next Thursday. This is a system to exempt or postpone regulations stipulated in the law for new industries and technologies.
For the new system to play the role of a primer water for innovative growth, however, just reducing regulations in the initial stage will be insufficient. All related government agencies should continue to provide support until it takes firm root.
The word sandbox originally referred to the small box filled with sand where children play in a controlled environment. It now refers to testing grounds for new business models not protected or supervised by regulations. The Moon Jae-in administration seems to have adopted the concept to help startups turn their ideas into new businesses and land on the market safely.
Among its primary purpose is finding innovative businesses and creating jobs. Items related to the sharing economy, such as ridesharing services, are also candidates for the regulatory sandbox. Various related laws will back up the new plan, but some parts of it will require a grand social consensus. The authorities concerned should reduce the time for granting privileges to as short as possible.
Related officials will need to show flexibility in dealing with not just irrational regulations but rational ones as well. The revision bill on the Framework Act on Administrative Regulations has yet to surmount legislative hurdles, which is why the officials should come up with an excellent strategy to maximize the system's effects.
Particularly important is the role of the committee that screens technologies and services for testing and commercializing new business models. The panel members ought not to remain content with accepting applications passively but try to find examples that can benefit from the regulatory sandbox, through active consultation.
Letting children play in the sandbox also means keeping them from being swayed by external influences. We hope promising startups will be able to show their ability amid the relaxed regulatory environment and demonstrate the new system's effectiveness in the industrial sector.