Kotra plans upgrades to support exporters

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Kotra plans upgrades to support exporters

The nation’s flagship trade and investment promotion agency vowed a change in its organizational structure and services to boost job creation in the country.

“Increased exports and foreign investment can create more than a million jobs in the country,” said Kim Jae-hong, CEO of Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency on Wednesday at a press briefing in central Seoul marking the agency’s 55th anniversary.

“We will upgrade our organization and services to strengthen the competitiveness of small and midsize firms so they can expand exports and attract more investment.”

According to Kim, small and midsize enterprises account for 88 percent of local employment.

To help the globalization of smaller companies, Kotra introduced a big data-based platform that offers business consulting for companies wanting to enter overseas markets, called the Kotra overseas market big bot, named for big data and robot.

The platform first analyzes the capability of each company then suggests the 10 most suitable export markets. For each recommended country, information on the market’s accessibility, competitiveness and overall trade statistics is given. The information is created based on big data collected from 127 overseas trade offices Kotra operates and an annual 40,000 cases of trade and investment consulting.

The platform’s “fast FAQ” service gives answers to companies at any time through a chat service on smartphones. Kotra said the service will be improved to function as an artificial intelligence-based chat robot.

The big bot platform had been tested for a year and its official launch to public will be Tuesday.

Kotra is also changing the way it provides services. Through a so-called export voucher, small and midsize firms can choose the support programs they want from a list offered by multiple institutions.

BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]

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