|Culture Minister Park Yang-woo speaks during a virtual sports ministers' meeting with his Japanese and Chinese counterparts in Seoul, Dec. 24. / Courtesy of Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism|
By Park Han-sol
The government will create funds worth a total of 298.5 billion won ($271 million) this year on aid to the culture, sports and tourism industries that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, the culture ministry announced Thursday.
With the Korea Fund of Funds, where the government funding for local small and medium-sized enterprises aims to encourage private sectors' investment, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will target its budget on businesses heavily affected by the coronavirus, and move up its execution by a month to support their speedy recovery.
The ministry will create a fund worth of 215 billion won on four main pillars of the content industries: a venture capital investment fund (150 billion won); broadcast and over-the-top (OTT) content (30 billion won), aid to affected productions (25 billion won); and content value assessment (10 billion won).
A new investment method will be introduced for the venture capital fund ― designed for emerging and marginalized cultural sectors ― whereby medium-sized enterprises will fund smaller ones.
The culture ministry will also try to encourage investment from the private sector by temporarily allowing companies to reinvest.
In regards to the tourism industry, the ministry will create a fund worth of 65 billion won in cooperation with the private sector. It will also expand the range of tourism startups and emerging companies eligible for receiving investments from the fund.
Some 18.5 billion won will be spent on sports industry to discover and invest in promising sports-related firms.
"Through financial support, the government hopes to revitalize the relevant industries struck hard by the pandemic and help lead to the growth of unicorn companies," a culture ministry official said. "We plan to increase the effectiveness of such spending by constantly monitoring the investments and progress made as well as reflecting the views of industry to improve investment conditions."
Proposals for this year's investment plan will be accepted from Feb. 9 to 16 at the Korea Venture Investment Corporation.