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Can Seoul become the global capital of financial innovation? Expert's analysis Updated: 2022-08-10 05:46:19 KST

The Yoon Suk-yeol government last month unveiled a total of 51 regulatory reform projects across various industries with the aim of spurring innovation and investment in the country.
This involves cutting red tape across six areas, including new industries, environment, bio and health care and such efforts are expected to generate new investments worth 1.6 trillion won or $1.23 billion dollars.
Amid the rapid digital transformation, the financial sector is one area crucially in need of innovation and change but this requires legal changes in the financial and industrial sectors, such as tax laws and data protection.
With authorities pledging to create the 'BTS' of financial products and services we try to envision such innovations and what measures are needed.
For this I am joined by Professor Kim Yong-jin of Sogang Business School, who has held various leadership positions, as President of Korean Academy for SME and Start-up Policy Initiative, the Asia Council for Small Business as well as being a non-standing commissioner of the Financial Services Commission.
He's received the Order of Service Merit by the Korean Government for his contributions, and we're happy to have him join us today.

1. You were a member of the previous Industry and Innovation in Finance Industry Development Committee. With the new batch of committee members appointed last month, the chair of the committee said they aim to foster a "BTS in finance." What innovative services or tools do you hope to see emerge?

2. South Korea's financial regulators have a system of separating industrial and financial capital, barring industrial capital from being used to purchase stakes in banks and financial institutions. How has this affected the diversity of services, and what potential do you see for financial innovations once the regulations are eased?

3. How can innovative financial tools be used to create new sources of income or financing for platform workers, artists, and entrepreneurs?

4. As you mention in your book, digital "on-demand" services have grown over the course of the pandemic all over the world. How should regulations adapt to this new reality?

5. Many digital, financial and medical technologies, not to mention creative contents rely on a wealth of data. But of course this collides with privacy concerns, and South Korea has very strong laws on the use of personal information. Is there a way to enable both innovation and data protection?

6. How can entrepreneurs and SMEs compete with big tech firms to create innovative digital services, when they don't have as much access to data and digital infrastructure?

7. Why is it that tech giants and solutions that succeed in the domestic market both large players like Naver and start-ups don't expand beyond the Korean market?
How can they become more international?

8. Can Seoul aspire to be the next Hong Kong or Singapore, with its infrastructure and highly educated workforce? What strengths and opportunities do you see?

9. What kind of regulatory changes do you hope to see this government pursue to help increase the appeal of doing business in Korea and attract more skilled professionals?

10. Mayor OH Se-hoon wants to turn Seoul into one of the world's top five cities for finance.
But it's been difficult for South Korea to achieve a developed market status on the MSCI. Foreign investors still appear wary of Korea's financial market why is that so? What could be done to build more confidence and attract more investment?

That was Professor Kim Yong-jin of Sogang Business School, we thank him for bring his insights today.
Reporter : osy@arirang.com
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