SEOUL, April 21 (Yonhap) — South Korea said Wednesday it will invest 105 billion won (US$94 million) this year to support budding companies in promising tech sectors, such as 5G networks and artificial intelligence, as part of the country’s digital New Deal initiative.

Last year, South Korea unveiled the digital New Deal program, which aims to invest 58.2 trillion won to develop key future technologies from smart factories to big data solutions and create 900,000 jobs by 2025.

The Ministry of Science and ICT said it signed a memorandum of understanding with the Korea Telecommunications Operators Association to further support tech startups and small companies under the digital New Deal program through investment funds.

Under the agreement, the ICT ministry will provide 60 billion won, while the Korea Telecommunications Operators Association, which includes the country’s three major mobile carriers — SK Telecom Co., KT Corp. and LG Uplus Corp. — will offer 45 billion won.

The ICT ministry said it expects the move to lead to more investment and help nurture promising companies in the tech sector.

South Korea has set aside 12.7 trillion won this year for its digital New Deal program.

This undated file photo, provided by the Ministry of Science and ICT, shows its office in Sejong, around 120 kilometers south of Seoul. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)