President Yoon Suk Yeol has expressed his intention to provide financial support and streamline red tape as a part of a plan to foster the bio-health sector as a key national strategic industry.
Presiding over an emergency economic and livelihood meeting on Wednesday, Yoon said the bio-health sector not only protects public health but is also linked to national growth as an engine for high-income job growth.
The president pledged to expand financial support to enable businesses to focus on developing new drugs and vaccines, such as through the creation of a "K-bio vaccine hub."
He also promised to reduce the approval and assessment periods for artificial intelligence-based digital medical devices, offering one example of how related regulations could be eased.
Yoon urged the health ministry to listen to concerns in the market when seeking to improve systems and regulations that restrict research and development as well as startups.
Meanwhile, the government plans to set up a 500-billion-won bio-health and vaccine fund in conjunction with the private sector this year and to expand it to a maximum of one trillion won in the future.