Korea Trade Investment Agency, Nairobi

What does KOTRA do?

 코트라는 Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency의 약자로서, 한국 기업들이 세계 각지에 진출하여 수출을 장려하고, 성공적인 투자를 할 수 있도록 돕고, 반대로 세계 각지에서 한국에 수출을 돕고 투자를 장려하는 정부 기관입니다. 코트라는 1962년부터 한국 산업통상부 산하에서 설립되어 현재 세계 각지 123개국에 해외 무역관을 운영하고 있습니다. 1950년 한국전쟁으로 폐허 뿐인 한국을 세계 6위의 수출대국으로 견인하는 역할을 해왔습니다.

 KOTRA stands for Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency. It is a government agency that helps Korean companies enter the world to export, make successful investments, and encourage investments into Korea from all over the world. KOTRA was established in 1962 under the Republic of Korea’s ministry of Industry and Trade and currently operates overseas, with trade centers in 123 countries around the world. This has contributed to Korea’s great economic transition from the old Korea that suffered the 1950 Korean War into the sixth largest exporter in the world.

 

2. How has KOTRA impacted the trade and investment relations between Kenya and Korea so far?

 코트라가 케냐와 한국사이에 교역, 투자에 어떤 점에서 영향을 미쳣냐

코트라 나이로비는 기본적으로 교역과 투자를 돕는 회사이다. 다시말해, 매치메이킹을 전문적으로 하는 기업인 것이다. 대기업 진출을 돕기도 하지만, 우리 무역관은 좀더 한국의 중소기업들의 케냐 진출에 집중하고 있다. 코트라 나이로비는 아프리카 해외무역관을 통틀어서 가장 실적이 좋은 무역관이다. 구체적인 실적을 공개하기는 어렵지만, 해외시장조사, 해외사절단, 해외출장지원, 수출상담회 등 2015년에는 100건 이상의 실적을 올렸고, 2016년에는 200건 이상의 실적을 달성하였다.

 KOTRA Nairobi is basically a trading and investment agency. In other words, it is a company that specializes in matchmaking. While helping to advance large corporations, we are focusing more on Korean SMEs’ entry into Kenya. KOTRA Nairobi is the best performing trade center in Africa. Although it is difficult to disclose specific results, it achieved more than 100 sales in 2015 and more than 200 in 2016, including overseas market research, overseas delegation, overseas business trip support and export consultation.

 

3. Of what significance did the Korean President’s visit to Kenya have on the bilateral trade & investment relations between Kenya & S. Korea? What role did  you play as an organization?

박근혜가 왔을 때 어떤 일들이 케냐간의 교역에 어떤 영향을 미쳤는가? 그리고 그사이 코트라는 어떤 일을 하였는가

2016년 5월에 박근혜 전대통령과 함께 우리나라 무역사절단 40개 기업이 케냐를 방문하였다. 우리는 이 기업이 케냐 시장에 진출하고, 케냐 기업들이 한국으로부터 좋은 제품과 정보를 얻어갈 수 있도록 코트라가 200여건에 달하는 수출 상담회를 주선하였다. 이 때 온 사절단의 성과가 상당히 좋아서 한번에 그치지 않고 후속 상담회를 위해 ‘아프리카민관합동사절단’23개 기업들이 한국에서 케냐로 2016년 11월에 한번 더 왔었다. 이 때도 100여건이 넘는 수출상담회를 코트라가 주선하였다.

 In May 2016, the former President Ms. Park GeunHye together with 40 Korean trade delegations came to Kenya. So far we have organized over 200 export consultations for those companies to enter the Kenyan market and allowed Kenya companies to get good products and information from Korea. At this time, the success rate of the delegations has been remarkable. In November 2016, twenty three Korean companies from the ‘African Private-Public Joint Delegation’ came to Kenya for a follow-up meeting. More than 100 export consultations were organized by KOTRA.

 

4. In helping Korean companies and SMEs to set shop in Kenya, what exactly does KOTRA do? Does it help investors to obtain licenses, anything along those lines?

케냐에 한국기업이 지사를 낼 때 코트라가 정확하게 어떤 절차들을 돕는가? 라이선스라도 취득할 수 있게 도움을 주는 것인가?

케냐 내에서 기업을 운영하기 위해 필요한 라이선스가 여러가지 있는데, 그것은 케냐 정부에서 하는 것이지 코트라가 직접 관여할 수는 없다. 우리는 한국 기업이 이 과정에서 필요한 정보와 노하우를 제공할 뿐이다. 우리가 중점적으로 돕는 절차는 한국과 케냐 사이에서 수출 및 수입이 일어 날 수 있도록 바이어와 셀러를 연결해주는 역할을 하는 것이다. 물론 코트라는 케냐에서는 대사관 상무부 소속이기 때문에, 케냐 바이어가 한국 들어가서 교역을 하기 위해 필요한 비자업무나 행정절차는 코트라가 진행하고 있다.

 There are a number of licenses required to run a business in Kenya which are issued by the Kenyan government, not KOTRA. We only provide information and know-how that the companies would need in this process. The process we chiefly focus on is to connect buyers and sellers so that the exportation and import can take place between Korea and Kenya. Also, since KOTRA belongs to the Korean Embassy’s Department of Commerce in Kenya, KOTRA proceeds with visa matters and administrative procedures necessary for Kenya buyers to enter and trade in Korea.

Korea’s Ex-President visit to Kenya in 2016

 

5. Revisiting the Korean President’s visit to Kenya last year, a number of MoUs were signed. About 20 in total. These included pacts on Nuclear energy and electricity generation, building of an industrial complex, E-government cooperation, KAIST, Korea-Kenya Government cooperation center (for 3 years), a commitment to KONZA city and a few more.

박근혜가 작년에 재방문 하였을 때, 20개기업이 양해각서를 체결하고 돌아갔다. 거기엔 핵개발, 산업단지 조성, E-govern 만들기, 카이스트, 콘자 시티 등이 있다

-Where are we at now?

지금 이 산업들이 어떻게 진행되어가는가

2017년 4월부터 위의 사업에 전담 직원이 새로 배치되어 후속조치를 하고있다. 아직까지 뚜렷할 만한 성과는 내보이지 못한 것은 사실이나, 대한민국 정부가 주두한 사업인 만큼 KOTRA 한국 본사에서도 상당히 관심을 가지고 팔로우 업을 하고 있다. 특히 케냐 정부는 산업단지 조성에 관심을 보이고 있는데, KOTRA는 지식 공유 프로그램인 KSP(Knowledge Sharing Program) 사업을 통해서 이를 체계적으로 지원하고 있다. 얼마전에 한국에서 연구진들이 케냐를 방문하여 2016/17년 산업 단지 조성을 위한 KSP 사업이 성공적으로 마무리 되었다. KOTRA는 2017/18년도 KSP 사업을 통해서 케냐의 경제 발전을 위해 긴밀하게 계속 협력해나갈 계획이다

From April 2017, a dedicated staff was assigned to do a follow up on the above projects. It is true that we have not seen clear results yet because it has been a short time since the signing happened. KOTRA HQ  has a great interest in following-up businesses as those businesses are centered by the Korean government. In particular, the Kenyan government is interested in creating an industrial complex and KOTRA systematically supports it through the Knowledge Sharing Program (KSP). Recently, the Korean researchers and delegates visited Kenya, and the KSP project for the industrial complex development in 2016/17 was completed successfully. KOTRA plans to continue closely cooperating with KSP in 2017/18 for the economic development of Kenya

6. Mention some of the annual business delegations that are held by KOTRA in a year both in Kenya and Korea

한해동안 케냐와 한국에서 진행되고 있고 있는 코트라 사절단 연간 사업에 대해서 말해달라

일단 한국 대구 경북 사절단, 전라도 사절단, 방산보안 사절단이 다녀갔다. 케냐-한국 화상 수출 상담회 1회를 진행하였다.

일단 2017년 하반기에는 선거기간 정치적 불안정성 때문에 더 이상의 사절단 방문은 계획되어있는 것은 없다.

 The projects, Kenya-Korea Export Conference and consultations for ‘Daegu Gyeongbuk Province Delegation’, ‘Jeolla Province Delegation’, ‘Defense Security Delegation’ have just been completed successfully. In the second half of 2017, there will not be any more delegation visits and projects due to the political instability in the election period.

 

7. Any challenges that KOTRA is facing in its line of work.

코트라가 일을 진행할 때 가장 힘들었던 점은 무엇인가요

코트라는 정부 산하 조직이다. 그렇기 때문에 다른 사기업들과 달리 우리 회사의 서비스를 받는 고객은 한국 국민 전체를 대상으로 한다. 그렇기 때문에 모든 상담에 친절하게 응대해야할 의무가 있다. 이것이 성과 평가에 상당한 영향을 미치기 때문에 자의반 타의반 친절을 다한다. 코트라의 많은 업무들보다 고객들을 친절하고 낮은 자세에서 응대하는 것이 사실 가장 어렵다.

 KOTRA is a government affiliate. Therefore, unlike other private companies, customers who receive our services comprise of the entire Korean people. Therefore, there is an obligation to respond kindly to all consultations. Since this has a considerable effect on the performance evaluation, we are expected to be the most  kindest of people. It is more difficult to give special attention to each customer, in a more friendly and fitting attitude because of the many tasks that we do.

 

Interview by Bhavisha Patel

Interviewee: Mr. Jang Jaewon- Rep. KOTRA Nairobi.

 

Korean Film Festival

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Cultural Exchange

For three years running the Embassy of the Republic of Korea has run an annual film festival in Nairobi. This is a four day event focused on screening Korean Movies to the Kenyan public to help promote Korean culture.This year the event took place at Alliance Francaise Nairobi from the 6th of June 2017 to 9th. On 6th at around 5.00 p.m. , a throng of movie goers and film enthusiasts gathered in droves to witness the launch. They were treated to snacks and drinks. Of these decadent treats a number were of Korean origin. Alongside dining, hugs, handshakes and bows took over as people from all walks of life introduced each other.

Some minutes into this we headed into the theatre. The first Secretary of the Embassy got on stage and gave an acknowledgement for the continued growth of Korea and Kenya relations. She then invited the Ambassador Hon. Kwon Young Dae to give his speech and launch the festival officially. He would later come on stage, emphasize the importance of cultural exchange and how pleased they were as an Embassy to share their culture with the Kenyan people.

Fast forward, the festival started with a Zombie blockbuster, the famous ‘Train to Busan’ and followed with ‘Love 911′ before closing the day. The second day (June 7th) we were ushered into comedy and family melodrama in the movie ‘Miracle in Cell no 7’. The day ended with ‘The World of Us’. The third day (June 8th) we started with the survival drama ‘The Tunnel’ and then switched to ‘Terror Live.’ The final day begun with a romantic comedy named ‘My Sister, the Pig lady’ that left many ribs aching because of  laughter. The curtains were closed after the screening of ‘A violent Prosecutor.’

Gathering views from those that had the chance to attend, the four day experience was great. The movies did justice to depict the daily Korean life and culture from its basics to the sophisticate. From bows that came in form of greetings, the language that was interpreted by use of sub-titles, the old Joseon structures and the mystical cultural garbs, all this was portrayed. In the end the Embassy managed to draw a number of Kenyans to Korean culture.

“The Embassy hopes to promote closeness between Korean and Kenyan people,” echoed the Political & Research officer at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea Mr. Andronicus Sikula. The event, a form of cultural diplomacy commenced in 2015. To expand the outreach the Embassy extended the screening to two more cities. Last year, the festival was also run in Mombasa and Kisumu. The decision to expand the outreach was triggered by Korea ex- premier’s visit to Kenya, whose presence made the Kenyan people a tad more curious about Korea.

To boost the level of cultural diplomacy, the Embassy runs other events as well. They include the Korean food festival, the Taekwondo festival and the Korean foundation day, which are spread across the year. With the teaching of Korean culture and language in local institutions such as the University of Nairobi, Mahanaim College and Kenyatta University, Korea hopes to widen the learning scope of Korean culture and language to the Kenyan people.

The Korean corner at the University of Nairobi, a cultural auditorium launched last year by the Korean Embassy, is another area open to people who would want to know more about Korean culture.

KNOWLEDGE SHARING

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Uncategorized

Korea project on International Agriculture (KOPIA) is one of the projects that the Republic of Korea is using to share its development experience and knowledge across the globe. It is run by Korea’s Rural Development Administration (RDA). In 2009 they begun their work in Africa by launching their working centers in Kenya and Ethiopia. To date, they have reached 10 countries across the continent and are doing a lot to improve the Agricultural performance of the countries they are working in.

The Kenyan chapter is run by an ebullient Director, Dr. Kim Choong-Hoe who has led his team to achieve much more for the 8 years that they have been running. They work in partnership with the Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) in meeting a select number of needs that face the Kenyan agriculture. Their projects center around poultry production, maize, rice, potato and vegetable production.

They are located in Kiambu, at KALRO  headquarters. There projects run in Nyandarua,  Kikuyu and Machakos county. For the other regions in need of their know-how and equipment such as the Western part of the country, the respective county Governors have made an effort to visit their center and learn a number of things

A tour at KOPIA centre provides a glimpse into their psyche, evidenced by the farm demonstrations that fill up the compound. There are several demo fields exhibiting  a range of  crops such as maize, potato, cabbage and tomato. There are crops with over 23 species of herbs such as lavender and rosemary, and others that have cucumber, paprika and strawberry. The most ambitious could be the 3rd demo field, which is a furnished poultry raising facility. In this facility they have been raising poultry that they later distribute to farmers in the quest to promote local poultry farming. They give it to local farming groups with each group receiving 5 chicken to start them off. To be able to get this donation, a group must comprise a minimum of 20 farmers

KOPIA is more hands on and practical than you would find a typical project office. In fact, the Director does not look the part. On a normal day he will be dressed like a farmer and so will his members of staff. The demo fields are spread out, an assemblage of green houses, tilled lands and poultry houses.

In addition to these outstanding demo fields, the work they have done outside is equally great. They have run four projects which have been rolled out in 2 phases. Part of this has been disseminating technologies in the production of rice, potato and the vegetables. To function in an efficient manner, they have worked along researchers to develop localized technologies that are in sync with the Kenyan farmers. They have constructed demonstration plots at major production areas, advised farmers on using the correct certified seeds, maintaining the soils and making manure.

One of its outstanding projects is building the school farm of Kadeng’wa primary. They have equipped the farm with poultry, maize, potato, sweet potato, cabbage and tomatoes. The farm products have gone into feeding the children most of who come from poor families. The Director, Dr. Kim Choong Hoe went lengths to use his own personal money to buy them food, textbooks and stationery. He also  requested for a large scale donation from the Rural Development Authority (RDA) Korea that heed his call. The centre is looking forward to do much more that will improve Kenya’s agriculture and establish Korea as a true partner in the country’s general development.

Image Credits: Joshua Nyantika

 

A 10 DAY EXPERIENCE IN S.KOREA.

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Travel

The Journey begun at 5 pm on the 10th of July. Being my first journey by air to a far off continent, albeit to a country I had long longed to visit, it was a dream come true. I was thrilled. After 14 hours of air travel, I arrived at Incheon International Airport on Tuesday evening where I was met by a team from Duksung University. Shortly afterwards, we departed for Duksung University.

On the 12th of July, we had two educational trips to Korea’s National Assembly and Seoul National University’s Kyujanggak Institute for Korean studies which had an archive for the documented heritage of Joseon dynasty. Being a Korean history fanatic, I quickly understood the explanations given by the guide. It felt like the Korean Drama series I usually watch come to life. Later on, we proceeded to the National Institute for International Education, Korea (NIIED) center to spend the night.

The 3rd day was particularly exciting for me because we got round to practice and experience Taekwondo. It happened at Arirang Taekwondo centre for the greater part of our morning. My friends and I learnt some self-defense moves and then Kyukpa, the art of wood breaking. Afterwards we set off to the National Museum of Korea and Chandeokgung palace. The places made Korean culture and history come to life. As we travelled from place to place I interacted with other Korean Government Invitation program (KGIP) participants, allowing me to learn different cultures the world over.

Over the weekend, we watched a thrilling Nanta performance. Nanta is a famous Korean non-verbal comedy show that incorporates traditional salmunori rhythm. I really loved the combination of live music and comedy drama in this particular performance. At some point, I felt like leaving my seat to go join them.

Later on my friend and I ventured the Kyeongbok palace that was only a walking distance from where the Nanta was being staged. It was drizzling but that could not stop us. From Kyeongbok’kung, we then left for the popular Namsan Seoul Tower. Absorbing the length of this lush and tall structure, then glancing down at Seoul from this high point was too much fun.

The next day, we had a 3 hour road trip to Naksan in Gangwon-do province where we visited the Unification Observatory. There, we were able to see the border between North and South Korea from an elevated position by use of binoculars. Despite the presence of heavy military personnel everything looked calm. As I looked over the area, there were so many posters and sculptures preaching peace. Deep in my heart, I could not help but pray to God for the prevalence of peace, and that war would never break out again between the North and South.

Later on we went to Naksan temple. I did not participate in some of the Buddhist activities due to my strong Christian faith but then I got to discover that the religion had significantly impacted Korea’s history. I also enjoyed the breathtaking view of the ocean, beach and the different sceneries in this area.

The following day we travelled from Gangwon-Do to Suwon, then set off for Samsung Digital City. The city is where Samsung develops and tests the first designs of its electronic products. The guides were able to take us through Samsung’s evolution over the years from a mere rice shop to a world leading electronic brand. We got to see most of Samsung’s first electronic gadgets dating back to the 80’s to their latest models of mobile phones, tablets, laptops, fridges, curved UHD,LCD and LED screens just to mention but a few.

The following day my friends and I had the chance to prepare Bulgogi and Kimbap, Korea’s popular dishes. With the ingredients prepared beforehand and with a chef to help us, the process got on well.

On the second last day of our program, we travelled to Incheon Port located  at the mid-western coast of the Korean Peninsula. It is the third largest port in the world. At Incheon, we particularly visited the Incheon Free Economic Zone and Songdo International City. I learned the key details on Songdo’s efforts and progress towards becoming a global business hub. Later on we made our way to Lotte World Tower, the 5th tallest building in the world, and Lotte World (amusement park) where we visited various facilities.

We spent our final day in a hand craft activity, guided on how to create our own compact containers from hanji paper. Later on in the day, we donned the traditional Korean attire, the Hanbok.

Sharing the last moments and parting was really difficult. The strangers I knew had turned into friends and now we were family. While sharing our experiences, those final moments proved emotional. But we promised each other to work hard and possibly meet again in future. The Korean Government Invitation Program was really a great experience. I made many friends and together we made unforgettable memories. As an individual I developed a sense of accomplishment, improved my communication skills both in Korean and English and became more confident to face the world. At the end of it all I was grateful to God and everyone else who had made the program possible.

Story By Marvin Ji Won