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Rep. of Korea Government
Founded1962 (as the Korea Trade Promotion Corporation)
Headquarters13 Heolleungno, Seocho-gu, Seoul, Rep. of Korea
Key people
Pyungoh Kwon (CEO since 2018)
ProductsTrade-Investment Promotion

KOTRA (Korea Trade Promotion Corporation initially, Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency since 1995) is a state-funded trade and investment promotion organization operated by the Government of South Korea.[1] KOTRA was established in 1962 as a national trade promotion organization.[2] Since then, it has facilitated Korea's rapid[citation needed] export-led economic development through various trade promotion activities such as overseas market surveys, SME export promotion,trade info services, government-to-gov't export,foreign investment in Korea(FDI) promotion and business matchmaking.[citation needed]


In August 1995, cross-border investment promotion and support for technological and industrial cooperation projects were added to KOTRA's mandate, and it was renamed the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency. Under Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE)

KOTRA currently operates Invest KOREA, the national investment promotion agency. Originally initiated as the Korea Investment Service Center (KISC) in 1998, the agency was relaunched as Invest KOREA in November 2003 to support foreign investors with an expanded range of services.

KOTRA now pursues its twin mandates of trade and investment promotion to enhance national prosperity and competitiveness, with the goal of positioning Korea as the business and economic hub of East Asia. With its experience and expertise, KOTRA assists interested parties worldwide to do business with Korea.[citation needed]

To take advantage of the era of E-Commerce, KOTRA launched the interactive internet portal sites of Invest KOREA Online (formerly Cyber KISC) in 2003 and BuyKorea in 2004.

KOTRA Academy was launched in 2003 as a professional learning center for international business. It is intended that KOTRA's trade and investment manpower will bolster the nation's trade and investment infrastructure.[citation needed] 125 overseas liaison offices covering 85 countries for trade-related information & promotion with over 1,000employees as of 2016, END.Jan.

KOTRA Seal of Excellence[edit]

KOTRA Seal of Excellence.jpg

The KOTRA Seal of Excellence is a seal that KOTRA gives to companies which it deems qualified according to three major criteria. These are: Quality, High Technology, and Trustworthiness. As of June 2010, KOTRA has awarded the seal to 430 different companies. The purpose of the seal is to help foreign companies to identify quality products and companies in Korea.[3]

Overseas Offices[edit]

In order to execute its mandates more efficiently, KOTRA has opened an extensive worldwide network of overseas Korea Trade Centers (KTC). As of July 9, 2018, KOTRA has a network of 126 offices in 86 countries worldwide with 10 of those offices in the United States and Canada. The North American offices are located in Washington D.C., New York City, Dallas, Miami, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Toronto and Vancouver.

KOTRA’s International Networks in the 1960s
Year Trade Centers No. of New Offices
1962 New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Bangkok 4
1964 Tokyo, Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore, Jakarta, Tehran, Nairobi 10
1965 Osaka 11
1966 London, Amsterdam, Milan, Geneva, Hamburg, Chicago, San Francisco, New Orleans, Montreal, Panama, Naha, Sydney, Johannesburg 24
1968 Manila 25
1969 Paris, Hamburg Supporting Centre, Santiago, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Mexico, Argentina, Caracas, Lima, Tunisia, Kuwait, Nairobi, Vancouver, Dallas 39

Source: KOTRA (1992)[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Kotra is not a tourist agency" Korea JoongAng Daily October 19, 2013. Retrieved on December 2, 2013.
  2. ^ "(Editorial) Appointing Presidents at State Companies" Hankyoreh" April 12, 2005. Retrieved on December 2, 2013.
  3. ^ http://kotraseal.kotra.or.kr/excellence/eng/main.jsp

External links[edit]