KITA opens office in Dubai to boost exports

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KITA opens office in Dubai to boost exports

The Korea International Trade Association opened a new office in Dubai on Tuesday, the latest move in a push to strengthen business ties with countries in the Middle East and Africa.

The new office was opened in time with President Moon Jae-in’s visit to the country. Moon arrived in Seoul on Wednesday after traveling to Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during his seven-day trip.

The association’s UAE branch will focus on supporting small and mid-sized Korean businesses wanting to enter the Middle East and African markets by offering reports on local trade and market situations and helping them build local sales networks.

Prior to opening the branch, the association inked a memorandum of understanding with the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Sunday to closely exchange market information and boost business cooperation between Korean and UAE companies.

On Monday, KITA executives also visited Dubai Future Accelerators, an intensive nine-week program for tech firms and start-ups in partnership with government organizations founded in 2016 by the crown prince of Dubai.

“With the opening of our UAE branch, we hope many Korean start-ups and innovative entrepreneurs can start businesses in the Middle East,” said Kim Young-ju, CEO of KITA.

Korean companies looking to diversify their export markets are increasingly turning to the Middle East and Africa, two regions where exports have been relatively small. The lifting of economic sanctions on Iran in 2016 also increased the potential for business in the region.

KITA currently operates 11 overseas branches including in New York, Tokyo and Jakarta.

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