KITA News and Reports
  • Job Creation in Korean Style Medical Clusters

    Job Creation in Korean Style Medical Clusters

    - KITA and KHIDI held a policy debate on the 'Building Korean-style medical clusters'-


    In order to foster the service industries with a large employment creation compared to manufacturing industries and to facilitate more service exports, it has been argued that a government led large-scale medical cluster should be developed in an area where foreign patients can access easily, for example, near Incheon International Airport.


    The Korea International Trade Association (Chairman, Kim In-ho) and the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (President, Lee Young-chan) jointly held a policy debate on the 'Building Korean-style medical clusters' at the Trade Tower in Samseong-dong, Seoul on June 29, Thursday.


    This policy debate aimed at developing the medical service industry, a high-value-added new industry. In order to find out the ways to attract foreign patients through job creation as well as building medical clusters, the representative specialists from industry, academia, research and medical areas gathered together.


    Park Jun, head of the Service Policy Department at the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), presented the success stories of the Texas Medical Center (TMC) in the United States, the world's largest medical cluster. He stated "TMC attracts 8 million patients every year and its annual sales are about 28 billion dollars, which accounts for 5.3 percent of Houston's local GDP. It has hired about 200,000 employees, including 106,000 direct employment (3.5 percent of Houston's total employment) and indirect employment.


    He also stressed "It is necessary for Korea to create the largest medical cluster in Northeast Asia near Incheon International airport so that it can attract the maximized number of foreign patients by utilizing Korea’s geopolitical factors. 

    In a comprehensive discussion, Kim Seung-moon, director of the International Team at Yonsei Severance Hospital, pointed out "Although there are 25 bio-cluster organizations in Korea, including Daegu, Osong, and Jeju, the domestic medical clusters have some limits as they are not hospital-centered medical cluster. He also suggested It is necessary to create an ecosystem that allows the government - enterprise - research institute - medical institution - educational institution - venture capital to organically network together at the government and local government level.

    Ahn Geun-bae, head of KITA's Trade Policy Support Division, requested continuous attention of the officials in government as well as medical industry by saying "The creation of medical clusters will accelerate the development of the medical industry, which is spotlighted as future growth industry, increase income and improve the national image through medical exports, and bring positive economic effects such as high-quality job creation for the market in a long-term. 

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