Trade agency pledges new growth plan

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Trade agency pledges new growth plan

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Oh Young-ho

The new head of Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (Kotra) pledged the agency will play a leading role in achieving $2 trillion in trade volume by developing Korea’s “trade growth model.”

Oh Young-ho, who took office on Dec. 5 as the president of Kotra, said he will focus on building a “Korean-type trade growth model” at the first press conference held on Friday.

In doing so, he plans to provide sufficient measures for small and medium-size exporters. He pointed out that the current proportion of small exporters should be increased from 30 percent to 60 percent to reach $2 trillion in trade volume. The figure is between that of Germany at 80 percent and Taiwan at 56 percent.

“Kotra will help small exporters that have difficulty finding export channels and those that rely solely on supplying conglomerates within the domestic market,” Oh said. “This will diversify export items and create jobs.”

Kotra plans to provide customized services for small exporters or start-ups that are in different stages of growth. For example, for a fresh start-up, Kotra will provide a program called “export incubating,” as well as support measures for participating in overseas fairs and a mentoring service. The agency plans to foster 500 new export businesses every year.

“For those that are already engaged in active exporting, we will help them collaborate with multinational businesses to build products together,” Oh said.

Oh was cautious about a possible economic slowdown in advanced countries next year. For the U.S. and European markets, the new Kotra head said he will help Korean businesses take full advantage of the free trade agreements by expanding related businesses.

“Kotra will focus on expanding markets for automobile parts, consumer goods and government procurement, which will be most benefited by the FTA deals,” Oh said.

For China, Kotra will help expand the consumer goods market by using large discount stores and online home shopping. Targeting the domestic Chinese market, Kotra will roll out activities to establish marketing, distribution and logistics networks.


By Song Su-hyun [ssh@joongang.co.kr]

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