President Oh suggests the ‘Global Business Platform 3.0’ at the 51st anniversary event
KOTRA President Oh Young-ho gives his commemorative speech at a ceremony to mark the
51st anniversary at the KOTRA headquarters in Seoul on June 20. [ Photos on courtesy of KOTRA]
Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) President Oh Young-ho delivered his commemorative speech at a ceremony to mark the 51st anniversary of the establishment of KOTRA at the headquarters in Yeomgok-dong, Seoul, on June 20 in which he explained the purpose of KOTRA’s inception and suggested ways of tiding over the global economic crisis and the agency’s future course.
Oh said, “As Korea embarked on economic development, exports have been the icon of hope, and KOTRA has been the icon of exports.” He went on to say, “The nation’s remarkable achievements – surpassing $1 trillion in trade and joining the club of the global top-eight trading powers – has greatly contributed to Korea’s becoming a role model for developing countries.”
But amidst the gloomier prospects of the global economy, the nation’s sustainable growth is threatened due to the slowing of economic growth and social unrest such as economic polarization, Oh said. KOTRA, as the infrastructure for trade and investment, has to spearhead efforts to overcome the economic crisis, he added.
Oh said KOTRA officials, armed with the mission of leading national trade and investment infrastructure, have performed as warriors of trade for expanding the export markets ranging from the remote, isolated areas of Africa, the high lands of the South American continent, and Iraq with no letup in the fighting, to the strategic market of Myanmar, the expansive Chinese inland area, and the bone-chilling CIS nations. “Thanks to these efforts, the Republic of Korea has risen from one of the poorest countries on the earth in half century to the miracle of achieving $1 trillion in trade and becoming a global top-eight trading powerhouse,” he said.
Oh said that externally, the nation has hard times in its economic growth due to fierce trade wars among countries and internally, a failure to ensure social integration, caused by the deepening of economic polarization, would undermine Korea’s sustainable growth.
Stressing KOTRA’s leading efforts to tide over the economic crisis, Oh suggested the “Global Business Platform 3.0” as a means to translate them into action. The action plan calls for providing systematic support to SMEs, dovetailing their exploration of overseas markets and guiding Korean companies to newly emerging markets that are showing signs of a recent economic boom.
The anniversary ceremony also coincided with the awarding of the Jangbogo Awards and cultural and art events during the after-work hours.
KOTRA inaugurated the Jangbogo Awards, named after Jang Bogo, a powerful maritime figure in the late United Shilla period, on the occasion of the 51st anniversary as part of KOTRA’s efforts to extend its support to the globalization of Korean SMEs.
The coveted Grand Prize went to M3 Mobile, an exporter of personal data assistants (PDAs) for industrial use. M3 Mobile has been praised for securing core design and technology before exporting items even though the company was tempted to become an OEM maker.
The Excellent Award was presented to Meta Biomed, for its exemplary practice of withdrawing its operations from China and for making inroads into the Cambodian market.
KOTRA President Oh said during the awards ceremony that the Jangbogo Awards have been established to make Korean companies the leaders of the “creative economy” after inheriting the brave heart of Jang Bogo. He added that the awards are hoped to serve as a foundation to make 3 million Korean SMEs into global exporters.