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Export support for SMEs to center on online realm

Exporters close $18m in deals through video consulting between April and July

Sept. 14, 2020 - 15:01 By Shin Ji-hye
South Korea will strengthen support for promising startups and small and medium-sized companies to export their products online in the global market, officials said Monday.

The Ministry of SMEs and Startups announced the “future tasks of supporting exports of small and medium-sized enterprises using online trends” at a ministerial meeting.

“We will strengthen support for online exports, which are showing an upward trend despite difficult external conditions caused by COVID-19,” the ministry said.

To this end, the ministry aims to help companies upgrade their contact-free method, expand the transactions and discover new growth engine in the area.

First, the government will organize events that combine offline exhibitions and counseling with online video counseling sessions. It will also establish an offline showroom for promising small and medium-sized enterprises.

The startup ministry said it would actively help domestic companies export online by linking their malls with overseas online retailers and help them be part of global retailers, including in emerging markets.

In addition, the ministry will establish strategies for overseas expansion by utilizing big data and establish infrastructure related to video conferencing.

The ministry said 131 companies were found to have clinched deals worth $18 million (about 21.3 billion won) through video consulting conferences held in collaboration with export-related agencies, such as the Korea SMEs and Startups Agency and the Korea International Trade Association, between April and July this year.

Companies that entered overseas online retailers such as Amazon saw their average exports increase by 400 percent. In particular, many of the companies recorded more than $10,000 worth of exports, each, as of July, after making their products available on overseas online retailers, officials said.

For instance, a small home appliance company saw its exports increase by 8,787 percent this year compared to the same period last year after launching their products on Southeast Asian e-commerce platform Qoo10, the ministry said.

By Shin Ji-hye (