Bank's Green Stimulus Plan to Promote Green Business in Korea

Kim Dong-Soo, CEO of the Export-Import Bank of Korea (Korea Eximbank) has announced plans to help transform the country into a green economic power.

The bank recently launched a policy package, including a “carbon fund” worth 100 billion won (US$ 100 million).  The measure is designed to support local companies’ efforts to reduce greenhouse gases cost-effectively.  It also extends credits to finance small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help them overcome the current economic slump.

The bank’s plan offers the following four tools  to accelerate the greening of small businesses in Korea:

  • A Carbon Fund
  • SME Financing
  • A Green Business Verification System
  • Fast-track Patent Processing for Green Technologies

 Carbon Fund

On Sept. 29th, 2009, the bank officially launched the nation’s first carbon fund capitalized at 100 billion won to purchase emission reductions from Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects developed and implemented by Korean entities.

Eximbank will invest 15 billion won (US$15 million), while the remaining 85 billion won (US$ 85 million) will come from energy-related public organizations and private businesses interested in the CDM, including Daewoo International and Doosan Heavy Industries. The Korea Investment Trust Management Company will manage the fund.

“We signed a contract with 12 organizations to establish the fund, which will purchase carbon credits generated by Korean companies investing in CDM projects in overseas economies. It will serve as a corner stone for the establishment of the carbon trading market and the promotion of “green” financing, and by the end of this year, the size of the fund will grow to 150 billion won, with several more businesses showing interest in the carbon fund”, Kim Dong-Soo CEO Export-Import Bank of Korea . Eximbank has long supported CDM projects  and is leveraging its solid network with the governments of developing countries to facilitate the development of CDM projects by Korean firms.

According to the World Bank and the Korea Capital Market Institute (KCMI), global emission trading markets are expected to grow to $150 billion in 2010 from approximately $64 billion in 2007. Currently, there are over 30 carbon funds around the world with assets of some $2.5 billion.

Financing SMEs

Additionally, Eximbank CEO Kim said the bank will continue to provide necessary capital to small businesses for the remainder of the year.

“In preparation for a possible reoccurrence of the global credit crunch, we will continue to pump money into small businesses. In particular, we will select and nurture 300 blue chip small companies over the next 10 years to turn them into Korea’s export warriors,” he stressed. The Eximbank plans to extend credits totaling 53 trillion won this year, up 6 trillion won from the initial 47 trillion won.

In the first six months of the year, Eximbank provided 30 trillion won in loans.  

Green business verification system

A green business verification system will also be an effective measure to promote green products and technologies and to encourage more companies in Korea to operate in a more energy-efficient and environment-friendly manner.

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Before a meeting of economy-related ministers at the Gwachon Government Complex, south of Seoul, Strategy and Finance Minister Yoon Jeung-Hyun said that to promote “low-carbon and green growth,” the government would establish a clear standard for what constitutes green companies and technologies.

From now on, the government will set up an officially-recognized certification system for what green business and technology are, in order to remove lingering uncertainties about the green growth sector,” Yoon said.

Under the plan, Green businesses are grouped into 10 categories:

  • renewable energy
  • carbon reduction
  • water resources
  • green IT
  • environmentally-friendly vehicles
  • green city
  • new materials
  • green production
  • agricultural goods
  • environment protection

“We have worked hard to make it more attractive for investors to put money into the green industry. From now on, the government will set up an officially-recognized certification system for what green business and technology are, in order to remove lingering uncertainties about the green growth sector,” Yoon said.  

The minister added that policymakers will make every effort to have a range of revised bills on the promotion of the green industry passed through the National Assembly as soon as possible, stressing it will continue to provide financial aid to qualified recipients.

The Lee Myung-Bak administration has been pushing for low carbon and green growth as one of its main policy agendas, offering financial and other support to businesses that operate in an environment-friendly way and use less energy.  

In this vein, President Lee has pledged to invest as much as 107 trillion won (US$ 107 billion) during his tenure, about 2 percent of Korea’s GDP and  twice the amount recommended by the United Nations.

Fast Track Patent Processing for Green Technologies  

The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) has announced a ’super high speed patent examination system’ for green technologies which would shorten the period for patent processing  to just one month.  The regular procedure takes 18 months. 

The system will be adopted for environment-related technologies which help minimize pollution emissions and for technologies which are verified as green.  

New technologies aiming to pass the patent examination system will be registered through electronic processes. The details of the process can be found on the KIPO website (

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