Politics holds up science belt project

President-elect Park Geun-hye is looking to enhance the country’s science and technology competitiveness with the establishment of a powerful new ministry that will oversee research and development policies and industrialization of innovations. But it seems Park is already facing a major obstacle with the delay of a project to build a mega science and business complex that promised to house world-class basic science research organizations and related business facilities.

The government is planning to complete the International Science and Business Belt by 2017 in a 3.6-square-kilometer area of Daejeon. To make the mega project more prosperous, the government is also planning to bring in some 500 foreign experts by the end of 2017.

The plan, however, faces an uncertain future due to political wrangling among the central and local governments and ruling and opposition parties. The National Assembly failed to allocate the budget for  the project as the central government and Daejeon city differed over how to share the expenditures. The government pledged to invest a total of $4.9 billion into the complex, calling on the Daejeon Metropolitan Government to pay its half of the bill. But the city refused the demand, claiming it was a national-level project.

For full article see Korea Herald.

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