President Yu Jeong-yeol of Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) said, “I’m throwing my heart and soul in the field to provide support tour companies.”
President Yu made the remarks at a meeting with reporters on April 11, saying, “Our Korean companies find it not easy to export as of late, the global economy is undergoing hardships.”
In the meeting at Gwanghwamun, Seoul, President Yu reviewed the current status of the Korean trade industry and came up with steps to expand exports KOTRA will implement as a trade and investment support institution.
The government inaugurated an inter-ministry export strategy meeting designed to achieve the nation’s goal of exporting $685 billion (about 903 trillion won) this year by reviving export momentum as soon as possible.
The government has established an inter-ministry export support regime by making all ministries key export players, so KOTRA’s trade network of 129 trade offices in 84 countries play a bigger part as an export platform.
“Exports began to decline in October 2022 and the nation logged a trade deficit,” President Yu said. Recognizing the severity of the trade situation, he said, KOTRA has been focusing its capabilities on the first half of this year to restore exports as soon as possible.
First of all, he said KOTRA decided to front-load 70 percent of its overseas marketing budget in the first half of the year to support the earliest recovery of exports.
KOTRA has invited 400 foreign buyer companies, the most-ever in the post-COVID-19 era, to Korea Biz-Trade Show 2023, which is taking place at COEX in Seoul from April 12 to 13.
As part of the step, KOTRA had already finished up the selection of beneficiaries of a global project targeting mid-sized superstar companies and a joint logistics project in March, and the agency plans to complete the issuance of export vouchers in April.
KOTRA will devote itself to implementing support projects to explore field export opportunities, he said. KOTRA also plans to offer support so that Korean companies can raise their response capabilities by ramping up the monitoring of trade issues and the supply chain of core items.
KOTRA will prioritize taking preemptive steps to solve grievances and complaints companies experience by ramping up field management, he said.
KOTRA will concentrate on looking into market trends in consideration of the strengthening of trade protectionism moves, according to President Yu.
Last year, KOTRA established an economy and trade cooperation desk, and the step was designed to grasp and spread information on several matters taking place in each country, he said.
KOTRA will redouble efforts to contact as many buyers as possible to revive exports, he said.
KOTRA plans to expand support to mid-size star enterprises with great support effects, while the agency’s overseas trade offices will have bigger roles to support promising nuclear power, defense industry and semiconductor companies so that the strategic industries can establish globalization foothold.
The agency plans to raise support tailored to meet the needs of domestic companies, small businesses and startups, while doubling down on export competitiveness by boosting digital trade.
KOTRA plans to expand foreign market entry through economic diplomacy while giving a leg-up to Busan’s bid to attract the World Expo 2030.