“To break through the unstable economic environment and solidify the country's foundation to jump toward the USD 2 trillion trade volume mark, Korea Trade Insurance Corporation(K-sure) will expand its support for small and medium-sized enterprises' (SMEs) through an overseas risk-covered supporting model that trade with strategic markets,” said Cho Kye-ryoong, president of K-sure.
“Along with this, we will strengthen support for natural resources development projects as new growth engines,” he said.
"First, K-sure plans to dominate next-generation, high-growth strategic markets through expansive preemptive support in order to transition global trade towards trading with newly emerging markets," he explained.
“To this end, K-sure selected 69 countries in five regions, including Africa and India, as strategic special markets and plans to expand its assistance volume from KRW 23 trillion in 2011 to KRW 32 trillion this year,” he said.
“In particular, it is moving to implement tailor-made assistance for countries in Africa and India after reflecting each country or region’s characteristics. To strengthen the on-the-spot screening process, it also decided to expand the operation of mobile K office,” he noted.
Under the judgment that it is indispensible for global SMEs to grow at a rapid pace as future growth engines to achieve the USD 2 trillion trade volume, K-sure will help Korean SMEs develop into competitive global enterprises, the president said.
K-sure is now expanding the implementation of such programs to actively foster global medium-sized companies to be included in the "Trade Champs Club", while building a management system which would designate trade financial consultants available to SMEs at all times.
“In addition, K-sure will activate its support for small and medium-sized exporters in securing liquidity through export credits they possessed,” said Cho.
Support for natural resources development projects
Noting that K-sure has expanded its mid- and long-term supporting goals from KRW 14 trillion in 2011 to KRW 19 trillion, Cho said, “K-sure will expand its support for natural resources development projects in newly emerging markets with high potential growth, including Central Asia.”
Stressing the importance of small and medium-sized plant enterprises in charge of unit process to build a healthy ecosystem of the Korean industry, he said that K-sure will strengthen various financial assistance necessary for Korean companies to win orders from abroad.
“For large-scale projects requiring big investments, we will also enlarge a cooperative credit system with policy financial institutions to secure necessary funds. For instance, we will diversify fund-raising windows, including Islamic financing and national wealth funds, while pushing for reinsurance contracts with other ECAs, including NEXI of Japan,” he said.
As part of its Creating Shared Value (CSV) campaign to share values and dreams with the world through trade, K-sure is now participating in the Global Village Program propelled by Habitat for Humanity, a non-governmental organization that builds affordable housing for low-income families.
It is also greatly contributing to creating jobs for youths by employing provincial-based high school graduates as youth interns at K-sure branches across the country and promoting excellent interns to regular employees.
“Along with this, we are offering such benefits as an insurance fee discount or preferential treatment on insurance limit to enterprises creating more jobs. To improve competitiveness of provincial economies, K-sure will actively help provincial companies producing famous regional specialities develop into exporters,” said the president.
Unique challenges for 2012
Cho said that the year 2012 is especially meaningful for K-sure because Korea just surpassed USD one trillion in trade volume last year. It is also K-sure's 20th anniversary of its founding.
“Nonetheless, we face much uncertainty at home and abroad. The European financial crisis is casting a dark shadow on the world economy and the future of emerging economies including China is uncertain,” he said.
“Accordingly, we have decided to exert an all-out effort to overcome the current difficulties and pave the way for Korea to reach the USD two trillion trade volume mark with our expertise and unique understanding of export insurance gained through our twenty-year operation.
“We are now standing at a crossroad where global trade led by advanced economies is transforming into that led by emerging-economies of the G20. In anticipation, we will facilitate Korean businesses to proactively enter high-growth potential global markets including Africa, India and Latin America,” he stressed.
He also said that K-sure will function as a steppingstone for Korean SMEs to mature into global companies, following an example set by Germany that reached USD 1 trillion in trade volume in 1998 and USD 2 trillion in 2010. "We are sure that doing so will build a healthy industrial eco-system by helping Korea to retain sustainable growth and create jobs," he said.
“We will also heavily invest in Korean enterprises capture emerging markets early on by actively supporting EPC and resource development projects in these regions,’ he said.
“However, we cannot deny the fact that there are many stumbling blocks for the nation to march toward the USD 2 trillion trade volume mark, including the continuation of the European financial crisis, the slowdown of export-led growth, and the limitation of growth to just large Korean companies,” said Cho.
“Although Britain and Italy attained the USD 1 trillion trade volume goal in 2006 and 2007 respectively, they failed to keep the target. The year 2012 dotted with worsening trade environment both at home and abroad will be a test stage for Korea to jump toward the era of the USD 2 trillion trade volume,” he added.
Korea Export Insurance Corporation (KEIC) assumed the new name Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (K-sure) on July 7, 2010, on its 18th anniversary, by amending the Export Insurance Act of Korea adopted in 1968, granting K-sure an increased scope of business to cover import transactions on top of export and overseas investment transactions.
K-sure was born out of the need to provide comprehensive support to overall international transactions in line with a growing interdependence between trade and overseas investment.
K-sure’s import insurance scheme will facilitate Korea to better secure commodities and natural resources that are vital to the national economy and boost future growth engines that will lead the global market.
Along with the name change, came a new corporate identity (CI), visions, organization, internal policies and management philosophy. In other words, K-sure is now geared toward providing comprehensive trade and investment support and will push Korea forward into a better future, a company spokesman said.