Let me begin the 6th Cabinet Meeting.
As the Government’s efforts to revive the economy pick up speed, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced its first approval of exemptions tied to a regulatory sandbox yesterday. The day after tomorrow, the Ministry of Science and ICT will follow suit. With these moves, regulatory sandboxes introduced last month will be applied to new industries for the first time.
On the first day alone following the initial introduction, 19 cases were filed for approval, and the first approval was given in just less than a month. This result came about because businesses’ high expectations for deregulation dovetailed with the Government’s willingness to render support. I am grateful to both ministers for expediting the deliberation process in their ministries.
Regulatory sandboxes have been newly adopted by my Administration to bring about a great transition in regulatory systems. The Government has exerted multifarious endeavors to increase economic vitality, support the private sector’s ability to innovate and overcome the limits of standard regulatory innovation that have failed to catch up with changes in new technologies and industries. Among our endeavors, regulatory sandboxes are the signature regulatory innovation policy that my Administration is pursuing as one of its top priorities.
Regulatory sandboxes are testing grounds for the innovative economy. This new system is mainly about making it possible to open doors for those freely taking on new challenges and making new attempts according to the "approve first, regulate later" principle – as long as the new technologies and services pose no threat to the life, safety and health of the people.
For a certain period of time, regulations will be exempted to enable testing in a real environment or give provisional authorization with the aim of facilitating the release of new technologies and products in the market. There can be concerns over certain individual cases. Regulatory innovation entails a conflict of interests or values. Resolving possible conflicts and worries with reliable safety measures is one of the Government's important duties.
If we are embroiled in repeated debates, however, we will not be able to take a single step forward. Regulatory sandboxes are designed to verify the necessity of regulations through the process of checking and testing safety, effectiveness and marketability. If such opportunities are not even given, no matter what new technologies arise from revolutionary ideas, they cannot foster the creation of new added value, new products or new industries.
Without innovation that can create added value, the transition from the fast-follower model economy to a pace-setting economy is impossible. I hope that regulatory sandboxes will serve as opportunities for the Korean economy to grow and qualitatively transform.
The Government has to firmly play a supporting role so that domestic companies can take advantage of one of the world’s most advanced regulatory sandbox systems and make an attempt to innovate to the fullest. For the regulatory sandbox system to take root successfully, I ask you to run the system in an active and forward-looking manner.