[KIM MOON-SOO] Digitalization is key in post-pandemic era
[KIM MOON-SOO's Token Biz] President Moon Jae-in declared that the administration will seize on a rush to digital, further strengthened by the coronavirus pandemic, to grow online-focused industries. The president announced that the government will aim to create 500,000 jobs through a Korean version of the New Deal. So how should we add jobs? The new jobs should be built upon digitalization. ①Digital health care Hospitals became an area of concern as the virus struck. We should push beyond the boundaries of telemedicine and provide tailored medical services by serving patients remotely. Instead of waiting for patients who can’t move freely, the nation’s health care system should be able to proactively find patients and focus on investing in related technologies. ②Digital education The government should popularize online education systems with the goal of providing education during war. Schools should not scrap their online courses even when the coronavirus pandemic comes to an end. They should provide both online and offline lessons, reconfiguring the paradigm for education. College students should be spared rush hour hustles by adopting online check-ins. A regulation that limits the portion of online courses to 20 percent of the entire semester should be removed. Other regulations restricting digital education should be lifted to help colleges around the world emulate Korea’s strategy. We could take a leap forward if Korea could bring students outside of Korea into digital classrooms. ③Closing the digital divide Seniors or people with disadvantaged backgrounds should be entitled for digital learning. In the same way the Seoul Metropolitan Government introduced Seoul Bike Ddareungi, it could also provide online learning devices at senior centers or nursing hospitals across the country. Young graduates and job seekers could be employed as trainers. ④Digital finance The People's Bank of China is spearheading digital currency in the wake of the coronavirus. The Bank of Korea maintained that it will only study the initiative and has no plan of issuing a cryptocurrency. The central bank should ditch its stance and lead the global trend of adopting digital currency. To keep keep pace with growing exports of medical equipment, semiconductor, cosmetics and IT products, Korea should push to internationalize the Korean won. Korean companies that are heavily reliant on China could face costs based on China’s digital currency. To help them not get lost, a won-based digital currency should be prepared. Digital currency is the key to digital finance. ⑤Digital ethics Digital identification and private information protection have become critical. If Korea could invite international scholars to discuss digital ethics and citizenship, the country will be able to garner support from more countries. In his book “The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives,” Zbigniew Brzezinski described China as localized and Japan as internationalized. If the Polish-American diplomat were alive, he could have revised the view as follows. Korea should address a new challenge by playing a leading role in the digital world. BY KIM MOON-SOO, professor of Crypto MBA at aSSIST Business School.