SMEs Ministry readies plans to bolster support for exports
Published : Jan 26, 2023 - 15:05
Updated : Jan 26, 2023 - 16:28
The first distribution center for SMEs' air export businesses is to be built at Incheon International Airport. (Yonhap)

The Ministry of SMEs and Startups said Thursday it is ramping up efforts to facilitate the global expansion of small- and mid-sized firms by bolstering distribution and logistics support in overseas markets.

The new plans were briefed during an emergency meeting of economy-related ministers earlier in the day.

The ministry’s ultimate goal is raising the export contribution of SMEs from last year’s 39 percent to 50 percent of the nation’s total trade volume by 2027, with the amount growing from $117.5 billion to $150 billion.

The ministry, among other things, plans to nurture export markets in the field. Up to 100 million won ($81,200) will be offered to help accelerate the overall process of exports from distribution to marketing to delivery. A new logistics center solely dedicated for SMEs -- a first of its kind here -- also will be set up at Incheon International Airport, the nation’s main gateway.

The ministry has also stepped up efforts to nurture more “unicorn” companies which are unlisted firms with a market value of more than $1 billion.

In order to boost their global expansion, a total of 1,000 companies will be selected to get export benefits. They include companies that earn more than $5 million through indirect exports by supplying materials and key parts to export items.

Many of the benefits scattered across programs will be integrated to increase efficiency and effectiveness as well.

The ministry will operate its trade hubs in key cities such as New York, Tokyo and Dubai as “global business centers” that can work as shared offices for SMEs doing business abroad. The move is expected to strengthen the monitoring of their operations and boosting cooperation between the firms and related business associations.

“The ministry will support small- and medium-sized export companies until they make up more than 50 percent of total exports and are reborn as the true mainstay of our exports,” said SMEs and Startups Minister Lee Young during the meeting.

By Kim So-yeon (