The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) held a meeting, presided over by Minister Chung Hwang-keun, under the theme of “The K-Food+ Export Expansion Promotion Headquarters (the Headquarters)” in the afternoon of January 26 (Thur.) at the aT Center located in Yangjae-dong, Seoul.
The Headquarters, led by Minister Chung Hwang-keun, is a public-private consultative body to promote not only Korean agri-food well known as “K-Food,” but also its related industries, such as smart farms, agricultural equipment, veterinary medicines, and construction of agricultural foundation facilities in overseas countries, as export-oriented industries.
* K-Food+ is to add agri-food-related industries, such as smart farms and agricultural equipment, to Korean agri-food (K-Food) and expand their export and nurture them into strategic industries for export.
Attended by a total of 27 people including representatives from major food companies and heads of related organizations, the meeting was convened to share and communicate the government’s policy directions for export expansion with the export industries, and thereby increase export volume.
The Ministry explained the policies to support export expansion in 2023 for the overall agricultural industry, including agri-food, smart farms, agricultural equipment and veterinary medicines. The representatives of exporting companies who attended the meeting expressed steadfast commitment to and confidence in export expansion, highlighting that they would devote themselves to close cooperation with the government and achievement of export goals.
The agri-food exporters highlighted, “Global popularity of K-Culture enhanced the brand image of K-Food, making us more confident about entry into overseas markets. With diversified export markets, we will more proactively target local mainstream markets, going beyond overseas Korean societies.” The industry representatives also added, “With a focus on higher quality for increase in export of fresh agricultural produce, cost reduction will be put forward through shared forwarding.”
The smart farm export industry mentioned, “Although we have smaller export volume compared to that of advanced countries such as the Netherlands at the moment, we will expand export of smart farms by making use of Korea’s leading expertise in ICT.”
The agricultural equipment exporters shared a plan, “We will attract new customers by proactively participating in five major international exhibitions on agricultural equipment held in the U.S., France, and Italy. At the same time, we will secure market competitiveness by exporting parts and completing product assembly in local markets centering on developing countries.” Those in the fertilizer and pesticide industries expressed their ambition to pioneer new markets in Europe such as Romania and Italy, and Latin America, respectively. The seeds industry made suggestions for strengthened R&D support from the government, mentioning that variety development is the most important for export expansion.
The veterinary medicine export industry said, “We will strengthen competitiveness for export through development of high value-added products and pioneer new markets such as China, Russia and Latin America, so that we can survive and thrive despite fierce competition among exporters.”
Minister Chung Hwang-keun said, “This is the first time that representatives from agri-food and related industries get together under the theme of export. I am confident that concerted will and efforts of all of us gathered here today will surely enable us to achieve a 10-billion-dollar target in agri-food export and 3-billion-dollar export target in related industries.” The Minister also reaffirmed his commitment that, “Agriculture can also be an export strategic industry. We will identify challenges of industries through the Headquarters, and the Ministry and relevant organizations will make dedicated efforts to provide one-stop solutions.”