KOTRA helps companies win global projects
By Park Si-soo
Four of the country’s state-run firms have joined forces to help private companies win bids to provide supplies and services to the United Nations, World Bank, and other international organizations.
The four are the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Corporation (KOTRA), the Small and Medium Business Corporation, the Korea Trade Insurance Corporation, and the Export-Import Bank of Korea (Exim Bank).
The Ministry of Knowledge Economy will offer administrative assistance in the project dubbed “P300,” which aims at nurturing 300 local firms to be competitive bidders in the global procurement market by next year.
Representatives of the four companies gathered at KOTRA headquarters in southern Seoul, Monday, and pledged their full cooperation.
KOTRA estimates products and services in demand by international organizations to be worth $40 billion last year while of that, Korean firms secured supply contracts only worth $950 million.
Launched last year to support 100 firms, the project increased the number of beneficiaries to 200 this year and 300 next year, according to KOTRA. This year’s beneficiaries include Hyundai Information Technology, LG Life Science, and POSCO ICT.
“P300 project is the country’s first critical step toward accessing a $40 billion-worth international procurement market,” said Han Jin-hyun, senior official from the knowledge economy ministry. “We will provide selected firms with all administrative assistance available in order to sharpen their competitive edge in the global procurement arena.”
KOTRA President Oh Young-ho underscored the importance of the P300 project to increase the country’s trade volume, saying the project helped increase the country’s trade volume by $11.5 million last year.
“The 200 companies set to receive state support throughout this year will pave the way for the country to become a leader in the global procurement market,” Oh said. “I also believe the project will shorten the time for the country to post a record high achievement of $2 trillion in annual import and export volume.”
Under the project, KOTRA will manage overall administrative affairs and conduct overseas promotion and marketing activities for selected firms.
The Small and Medium Business Corporation will be held responsible for ensuring easier access to finance for selected firms, while Korea Trade Insurance Corporation will guarantee payment for companies in the international bidding process. Exim Bank will provide the funds deemed necessary.
In the first year of the P300 project, five firms won seven U.N.-initiated procurement contracts valued at $11.5 million.