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Trade agency taps into database for business advice

The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency is planning to launch an online service that runs on database to assist local businesses with their engagement overseas.

During a press conference to celebrate its 55th anniversary Wednesday, President Kim Jae-hong of the state-funded agency unveiled a plan to launch a website dubbed “Kotra Overseas Markets Big Bot,” which he said is expected to offer businesses practical advice.

“We have accumulated data on companies’ business expansion overseas for a long time,” Kim said at the conference in Seoul. “Now it’s time to analyze and make use of patterns from the data.”

KOTRA President Kim Jae-hong speaks at a press conference marking its 55th anniversary in Seoul on Wednesday. (KOTRA)
KOTRA President Kim Jae-hong speaks at a press conference marking its 55th anniversary in Seoul on Wednesday. (KOTRA)
The service has gone through a yearlong preparation, including the compilation of data, based on staff members’ knowledge and experience, according to the agency.

The website will offer suggestions for improvements curated to the needs of each business entity. Using accumulated data, the website will assess the overseas business capacity of an entity and provide it with direct marketing strategies or ways to improve its business capacity. In addition, it will recommend the best export destination for goods.

A provisional image of the website assessing business capacity based on big data. (KOTRA)
A provisional image of the website assessing business capacity based on big data. (KOTRA)
Alongside the website, the agency said it will constantly improve its app function, in which the app texts answers in response to users’ questions about overseas expansion.

The new online service will “buck the trend of unilateral provision of content” for local businesses, said Jung Oi-young, a senior official at KOTRA, at the press briefing. 

A provisional image of an app texting answers in response to users' questions about overseas expansion. (KOTRA)
A provisional image of an app texting answers in response to users' questions about overseas expansion. (KOTRA)
Marking the 55th year after its foundation, KOTRA told reporters it is planning to hold events this week, such as a business forum for small and medium-sized exporters Wednesday and expos for overseas buyers from Thursday to Friday.

Kim said during the press event that the agency will stay affiliated with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, instead of the newly established Ministry of Small and Medium Venture Business. 

By Son Ji-hyoung (consnow@heraldcorp.com)
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