“Defending a country was the basic concept of military security. However, with the global supply chain, defending a country is only possible with economic security. And at the core of economic security is technological sovereignty,” said Lee, who served as a special adviser to the president for economy and technology until May this year.
“In other words, you need technological sovereignty to have successful military security and economic security.”
Lee delivered a keynote speech on the path to innovation and a nation’s role during this year’s forum, titled “Shape of the Future.” The event focused on trends that will rule the industries as the world rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also called for bipartisan cooperation and cross-sector collaboration for countries to excel in technological sovereignty.
“We need bipartisan partnership for technological sovereignty and also need cooperation between the government and the private sector,” Lee said.
Securing strategic technology is crucial in winning the tech sovereignty race, as well as the manufacturing infrastructure to support it, which he describes as the two pillars in the era of technological sovereignty which will be essential in the post-pandemic world.
Lee pointed to how the US passed innovation and competition laws so the federal government could support new technological development and nurture new talent.
In the case of Japan, the new administration is considering setting up a 1 trillion-won tech fund to incentivize tech companies like Taiwan’s TSMC who has recently announced plans to build a chip plant in Japan.
In Europe, EU-level talks on technological sovereignty have been had, Lee said during his speech.
Despite growing competition, however, Lee added cooperation is also important.
“There is a tendency for people to talk the self-reliant economy when we talk about technological sovereignty — meaning we have to close our borders in terms of technology. Actually it’s the opposite. Technological sovereignty should be based on reliance and values in an open network,“ Lee said.
Lee also urged South Korea to abandon the “developing country mindset.”
“We have to abandon the mindset as a developing country. Recently, the Bank of Korea raised the standard interest rate and it was covered by an international media outlet.
“Korea is already considered a developed country in the world. Now is time that we need to upgrade our own mindset.”
By Yim Hyun-su (email@example.com)Internet Explorer Channel Network