The Korea Herald


KOTRA fills in for Korean SMEs in Vietnam exhibition amid COVID-19 restrictions

By Bae Hyunjung

Published : Dec. 18, 2020 - 16:49

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Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA)
The state-run Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency is holding a “hybrid” exhibition in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City in an effort to help small- and mid-sized Korean firms, the agency said Friday.

KOTRA opened a Korean booth at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center, as part of the three-day specialized exhibition that runs from Thursday to Saturday. The event was organized by the city’s Department of Industry and Trade to help businesses boost production, develop new technology and expand their presence in global supply chains.

Adopting a hybrid format that incorporates both face-to-face and contactless channels, KOTRA officials set out to make local sales promotions on behalf of Korean companies that could not make it to the event due to pandemic-related entry restrictions.

The Southeast Asian state has recently alleviated its quarantine rules to allow offline exhibitions but still bans visits by foreign nationals.

In order to make up for the shortcomings of the proxy exhibition, KOTRA completed the pre-test marketing and promotion material production earlier this month, and held an advanced training session for guides in November, officials said.

While product samples and video proposals are available at the booth, KOTRA officials will be on the scene to respond to inquiries and to adjust additional video business counselling sessions between exporters and buyers.

A total of 16 Korean exporters participated in the hybrid export exhibition, including three social enterprises and two companies that saw exports discontinued amid the COVID-19 crisis.

“Considering the Vietnamese business culture, it is crucial to take a multilateral approach when communicating with local business partners,” said CEO Kwon Pyung-oh.

“This hybrid exhibition and counsel model will rise as the new business model that suits the demands of the post-coronavirus era.”

By Bae Hyun-jung (