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New council aims to boost Korean liquor exportsBy Shim Woo-hyun
Published : April 11, 2023 - 17:21
The National Tax Service announced Tuesday that it has launched the K-Liquor Promotion Council to boost exports of alcoholic beverages produced by small and mid-sized firms.
"Imports of alcoholic beverages have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, but exports of locally produced alcoholic beverages have had difficulties in entering the foreign markets,” the National Tax Service explained the background behind the launch of the council.
According to the NTS data, imports of alcoholic beverages have increased to some 1.7 trillion won ($1.3 billion) in 2022, up from 1 trillion won in 2019. However, exports of local liquor products decreased to 398 billion won in 2022 from 404 billion won in 2019.
Moreover, the NTS noted that exports from small and mid-sized liquor firms only accounted for a small proportion, while top 10 companies accounted for more than 80 percent of the total exports of liquor products in 2022.
“The trade deficit (in the liquor category) has been widening, and now is the time for the government, conglomerates and related associations to step up,” said Jeong Jae-soo, Assistant Commissioner for Corporation Taxation at the NTS and a co-leader of the council.
The newly launched council will work as a platform that will provide local liquor firms with resources they can use when entering the foreign markets, the NTS said.
The council will operate channels in which small and mid-sized liquor firms can consult with larger ones that have accumulated know-how on entering overseas markets in the past years.
Park Seong-ki, the chairman of local makgeolli export council and the other joint leader of K-Liquor Promotion Council, pledged to turn the council into a venue through which the government and the liquor companies can cooperate.
A centralized web portal will be created to bring together data related to exports of liquor products.
The council also listens to local liquor firms to see if there are regulations that are preventing small and mid-sized firms from expanding their businesses both here and abroad. The government will make changes in the liquor tax law if needed, the NTS said.
“Tax incentives in regulations and investments are required so that local liquor brands can enter the foreign markets,” said Paik Jong-won, a popular South Korean restaurateur and council advisory panel member.
"I hope the K-Liquor Promotion Council can play a pivotal role in assisting small and mid-sized liquor firms, as well as those who make traditional alcoholic beverages. (The government) will continue its efforts so that locally produced liquor products can increase their footings in the global market," said Kim Chang-ki, the chief of the NTS.
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