South Korea said Tuesday it will invest 1.2 trillion won ($1 billion) in research and developmentn projects for medical instruments over the next six years to foster the area as one of the new growth engines for Asia's No. 4 economy.
The spending will be aimed at beefing up global competitiveness of local medical instruments and provide the public with better medical services, according to the joint statement by industry, science, welfare and drug safety ministries.
The country will also aim to penetrate deeper into the overseas market for medical instruments.
South Korea's exports of bio-health products, which include medical instruments, moved up 8.5 percent on-year to reach $8.83 billion in 2019. It marked the 10th consecutive year for the segment to post on-year growth.
The growth was mainly attributable to rising demand for dental and beauty devices from China, Russia and Southeast Asia.
In contrast, the country's overall exports moved down 10.3 percent on-year in 2019 amid the Sino-American trade row and the faltering chip industry. (Yonhap)