KISA to promote technology overseas
The Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA) is rolling up its sleeves to promote Korean wireless transmission technology and “hallyu,” or Korean wave, content in foreign countries.
Headed by the organization’s president, Suh Jong-ryeol, a delegation comprised of a KISA team and officials from domestic mid-sized broadcasting and telecommunications companies will visit three countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) ― Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine ― for one week from Monday looking for buyers of Korean goods.
“Our broadcasting content is immensely popular in the CIS, being called the second origin of the hallyu wave,” said Suh. “There is also active planning as well as developments in information and communications technology (ICT) there. It is a good market that Korea can tap in the interest of both parties”
KISA is planning two separate meetings in each country to attract buyers. For content, they are hosting forums introducing recent Korean soap operas, documentaries, and music (K-Pop). In technology, the agency is opening large road shows collectively called “ICT Cooperation Vision,” which will be a meeting ground for Korean sellers and buyers from the respective countries.
“KISA has been checking exports of broadcasting and ICT companies annually and has been looking for new markets to venture into,” said the president. “We held another survey early this year and found out that demand for Korean content was highest in the CIS.”
Demand is indeed high. According to KISA’s global business development team, over 60 buyers have shown interest in each country there, with some already in talks with domestic companies on signing contracts. The K-pop wave is also huge in the area, especially in Kazakhstan, where many people are devouring music from popular idol groups as soon as it comes out.
“There are huge marketing opportunities here. KISA, as a government agency, wanted to give those opportunities to domestic firms that have more difficulty finding good export channels,” said Suh.
The visit to CIS countries will not be the end of KISA’s efforts. KISA is planning to visit Hungary, the United Kingdom and other European countries near the end of June, and will open another showcase in Middle East and African regions sometime in the second half of the year.
In September, another delegation will be sent to Southeast Asia, where there is already a strong export channel thanks to hallyu’s popularity there. KISA is planning to attend “Distree,” an international meeting for high-level vendors and buyers in Brazil from Sept. 11 to 13.
“The global preference for Korean content is on the rise thanks to various efforts from related parties,” said Suh. “Just considering revenue, the economic benefits from hallyu are still only widely felt in China, Taiwan and Japan. People there were already familiar with our soap operas starting in the early ‘90s, and this was shown in a study last year that those countries made up 74 percent of our content exports.”
But Suh is hopeful of market expansion. KISA held four similar meetings in foreign countries last year, and secured $3.2 million in export consultation fees. He expects a 10 percent rise this year.