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Korea to turn hallyu into industry

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Published : 2012-04-17 17:58
Updated : 2012-04-17 19:20

Culture Ministry plans to create fair  business environment for artists, large concert hall and support content developers


The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced on Wednesday a set of comprehensive plans for hallyu, such as building infrastructure for better content development, facilitating a support system for less popular Korean cultural genres, and promoting cultural exchanges to prevent anti-Korean sentiment.

“Concerns are rising that the Korean Wave will fade away in just four or five years. We will implement a variety of projects to continue hallyu and further promote Korean culture in general,” said Culture Minister Choe Kwang-shik at a press conference held at a small underground bar and concert hall in Hongdae, a district known as the center of the country’s indie music scene.

“Korea has long been a role model for economic success by developing hardware industries such as electronics, shipbuilding and automobiles. However, the country will be empowered by hallyu as a new industrial force and become a role model of soft power in the future,” he added. 
Culture Minister Choe Kwang-shik speaks at a press conference held at a small underground concert hall in Hongdae in northern Seoul. (Yonhap News)

By 2015, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will set up a fund worth 730 billion won designed to nurture the country’s contents industry. This is in addition to the 1 trillion won already expected to be raised within this year.

The government will launch an agency to support writers as they develop program content or creative stories based on Korean legends, and hold contests for budding writers.

Some 150 billion won will be invested in the building of an arena-type concert hall with more than 15,000 seats in Seoul or in neighboring cities. Also, a large-scale film production studio will be built in Busan by the year 2016 to attract foreign productions. A television drama town is planned for Daejeon.

The ministry will also host the first Asian Music Market in October at various venues in Seoul to introduce not only K-pop artists, but also the country’s talented, yet unknown indie bands. The gathering of foreign labels, producers, distributors and media will become an international market place and also a music festival for Korean music, officials said.

Also, the government will support indie bands who want to make inroads into overseas markets as well as operate tracking systems to shut down websites that allow the illegal download of K-pop music and K-movie files.

Another support center will be launched to help contents companies in legal and financing matters. The center will also offer marketing strategy and information for companies who plan to export their contents.

To prevent anti-Korean sentiment, the government will offer incentives for production companies or broadcasters planning to jointly produce movies or dramas with Chinese companies.

Officials said the ministry will create a fair business environment to protect Korean artists and production staff from unlawful treatment by entertainment agencies, film companies and broadcasters. The ministry will complete the formulation of standardized contract forms to end the so-called “slave contracts” or irrationally unfair business deals between artists and agencies within this year.

By Cho Chung-un (christory@heraldcorp.com)

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