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KOTRA reports opportunities for South Korean IT companies in Canada

04 Aug 2017

​The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) has reported there are many opportunities for South Korean IT companies in Canada.

In an interview with Korea IT Times, chief trade commissioner of the KOTRA Vancouver office, Jung Hyung-shik says large IT companies in the U.S. have begun to move to Canada as an alternative to Silicon Valley.

This apparently is due to President Trump’s anti-immigration policies and a sharp reduction in the research budgets for the medical and science fields.

Furthermore, the Canadian government has reacted to this and announced an investment of over $100 million in the AI (Artificial Intelligence) industry, allowing Canada to arm itself with more attractive conditions for these companies.

At this time, the Canada Office of Korea IT Times and the KOTRA Vancouver Office are reviewing a jointly held "Korea-Canada IT Tech Cooperation Forum and Export Consultation Meeting" in Vancouver early next year.

“KOTRA has been offering a marketing platform to domestic small and medium-sized companies for their advancement into overseas markets. Likewise, KOTRA has been providing IT companies with consultation services for local market surveys, buyer discovery, exports and advancement,” says Hyung-shik.

“Through support projects such as participation in local missions, exhibitions and export consultation meetings, attracting buyer's visits to Korea and agent businesses as local branches, it has helped domestic IT companies advance into the Canadian market with their goods and services.”

According to Hyung-shik, the Canadian IT market has showed modest growth of late, with 38,000 IT companies and some 560,000 workers in the industry, accounting for 3.2 percent of the country’s total GDP of 67.9 billion Canadian dollars.

In terms of Canada’s response to Korea’s IT industry, Hyung-shik says the future looks positive.

“Korea's IT technology is widely known to have reached a top level in the world. Since the Korea-Canada FTA settlement in 2015, such industries as agriculture, livestock and forestry have enjoyed big benefits,” says Hyung-shik.

“However, it is expected to take some time before actual export transactions are reflected in the IT industry.”

Hyung-shik says the exchanges in the IT industry between the two countries are at the initial stages so that it is a potential market.

“As a result, I think KOTRA's role will increase in ICT cooperation. As the service field accounts for about 84 percent of Canada's IT industry, the business cases in service cooperation between IT companies of the two countries remain at an insignificant level,” says Hyung-shik.

“Under this backdrop, I think it is very timely that the KOTRA Vancouver Office and the Canada office of Korea IT Times push for holding the "Korea-Canada IT Tech Cooperation Forum and Export Consultation Meeting" in Vancouver early next year to energize exchanges in the IT industry between the two countries.”

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