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KOTRA to support U-turn firms across the country

KOTRA local support branches participated at resolution ceremony to support U-turn firms

On September 9, the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) held a resolution ceremony to support "U-turn" firms at its head office in Seoul. The event was attended by KOTRA President Kwon Pyung-oh and 12 heads of KOTRA's local support branches to affirm their resolution to support "U-turn" companies.

"U-turn" of companies are similar to the concept of reshoring in which manufacturing companies take back production facility to home country. In Korea, the Act on Support for U-turn Firms gives definition of such term. It refers to the firms closing overseas production base, which was run more than two years before, or downsizing by more than 25 percent, and build or expand the business site producing the same products at home country.

With strengthening trade protectionism globally, "U-turn" trend that brings back firms doing business overseas has become apparent. Korea is also stepping up efforts to attract Korean firms operating overseas by easing selection criteria and expanding tax benefits. In many cases, U-turn firms relocate to non-capital areas.

In step with such trend, KOTRA intensifies support for U-turn firms nationwide. "KOTRA local support branches" located in 12 cities including Incheon, Busan, Gwangju, and Ulsan used to focus on supporting exporting firms. Going forward, they will promote the system of supporting U-turn firms, discover such firms and help them relocate.

KOTRA local support branches will first receive difficulties and suggestions from U-turn firms through call and visit consultations. At the same time, they will provide marketing support concerned about opening up overseas sales channels, including provision of foreign market information. They will actively discover firms willing to make a "u-turn" by establishing a cooperative system with 16 local governments.

KOTRA President Kwon Pyung-oh said, "70 percent of KOTRA clients are in the area where local branches are located," adding that "We will conduct activities to support u-turn firms to boost local economies."

Source : Invest KOREA (September 10, 2019)

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