Lee Jong Seob, President of KOTRA in Southeast Asia-Oceania cum General Director of KOTRA Hanoi.
To ensure growth in trade relations between Việt Nam and South Korea, the South Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) has tried its best to overcome barriers. Lee Jong Seob, President of KOTRA in Southeast Asia-Oceania cum General Director of KOTRA Hanoi, speaks to Việt Nam News about these efforts
Despite the obstacles of the COVID-19 pandemic, KOTRA has made efforts to organise many trade promotion activities in Việt Nam. Could you elaborate on these efforts?
As a South Korean government agency at the forefront of overseas trade promotion activities, since the beginning of 2020, we have done our best to ensure there is no interruption in the trade between Việt Nam and South Korea in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Online trading is a solution that we thoroughly apply. We quickly respond to the needs of any Vietnamese businesses looking for reputable Korean suppliers, arranging online work schedules, and providing interpretation services. Vietnamese businesses do not have to pay for all of these support activities.
In 2020, KOTRA Hanoi conducted more than 50 online trade events, supporting more than 1,200 Korean businesses to connect with nearly 1,000 Vietnamese businesses, conducting some 1,800 effective trade exchanges.
In February this year, KOTRA Hanoi established K-STUDIO Digital Trade Center, how does the centre operate and what initial results has it achieved?
K-STUDIO is located at the office of KOTRA in Hà Nội. Here we provide live recordings introducing the details of Korean enterprises and high-quality products from each province and city in South Korea, we call them a business delegation. Vietnamese enterprises interested in the above products will contact us and will be quickly connected to work online with Korean suppliers. All support activities for Vietnamese businesses are free of charge.
In more than one month in operation, through K-STUDIO, we have supported two Korean business delegations with nearly 60 businesses from Incheon, Daegu, Gyeongbuk, Chungbuk and Ulsan, partnering with more than 120 Vietnamese enterprises.
We focus on giving priority to Korean businesses exporting to Việt Nam for the first time and supporting Vietnamese businesses importing Korean goods for the first time.
With many years of experience in trade promotion, we will do our best to effectively achieve the target of more than 60 online trading events in 2021 in the context of the pandemic.
What plans does KOTRA Hanoi have this year for trade promotion activities with Việt Nam?
We will conduct more than 60 online exchange events with nearly 2,000 online transactions between Korean suppliers and Vietnamese buyers in 2021.
In addition, we will also organise three large-scale exhibitions in Hà Nội, namely the Vietnam International Trade Fair (Vietnam Expo 2021), the Việt Nam International Medical, Hospital and Pharmaceutical Exhibition (Vietnam Medipharm Expo 2021) and the Việt Nam International Industrial Fair (VIIF 2021).
We will continue to build new projects to facilitate trade exchange for Korean products in Việt Nam.
Do you have any suggestions for local authorities to facilitate trade between the two sides?
We have been working closely with Việt Nam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce in the implementation of trade promotion activities between the Vietnamese and South Korean business communities.
We hope that the Vietnamese authorities will continue to have appropriate policies during the pandemic period to ensure both safety and economic development. VNS