March 30, 2020
Market Opportunity South Korea

Market Opportunity South Korea

[Upbeat electronic music begins.] Hi, I’m Tommy Couture. I’m a trade commissioner based in Seoul, South Korea. Korea is a fascinating country. There are more than 50 million people. It is the 11th largest economy in the world, 4th in Asia. South Korea is the sixth largest importer of Canadian products. Half of them are living in the greater metropolitan city of Seoul… …and 10 million of them are living downtown. So it is a vibrant city, a lot of infrastructure, a lot of things going on. You can see some homogeneity. And that is reflected as well in the consumer behaviour as well. If you have a really good product and… …you can reach those consumers… …you can have a really good success in that market. Korea loves Canada brand. Canada food has a good reputation, which is safe and fresh. South Korea is a really well-connected country. They have more than 45 free trade agreements in the world. It is a pretty competitive market. They import around 60 to 70% of what they consume in the country… …so they have many different links with countries in the Asia-Pacific region… …and for sure they have a really well-developed global value chain in the region. Since 2010, ecommerce grew 14.4% annually. That growth represents 88 billion dollars in 2016. Before exporting, you have to keep in mind that… …you may have to adapt your product,
your packaging, and make smaller portion. It is really important to develop connection within the market… …by traveling to the market, meet people… …contact them regularly… …meet with suppliers, distributors, retailers, and even food services actors. What I like about my job is really to put people into touch. I like to get requests from Korean importers or Canadian exporters… …and make sure their needs are met. And after a few weeks, you can see the result of your work… …you can see that there are some new Canadian products on the shelves. For a company that expects to penetrate the market… …it is really important to do your homework. There’s a lot of information available… …on many different websites about South Korea. Learn about the culture, and make sure you contact… the trade commissioner services, and
they will help you to go through all those first steps. [The upbeat electronic music fades out.]

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