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  • Training Foreign Residents in Seoul as Trade Professionals to Help SMEs with Exports

    SMG 2955
  • This year, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will provide training for 540 foreign residents in Seoul, including many Chinese Koreans, so that they may support the overseas marketing activities of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) that are finding it difficult to maintain sufficient export levels.

    Chinese Koreans, foreign residents, and immigrants by marriage are often fluent in both Korean and their native languages, and are also familiar with the culture, common practices, and social characteristics of their home countries as well as those of Korea. Building on this, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will train these residents to become professional, reliable international trade specialists so that they may facilitate communication with locals of foreign countries, collect information on overseas markets, and explore potential business partners, thereby acting as messengers between foreign companies and Korean SMEs that are struggling due to a lack of personnel skilled in exports and marketing.

    Through this program, the Seoul Metropolitan Government expects that policies regarding support for foreigners will shift toward helping them grow together with Korean citizens and strengthen the economic sustainability of SMEs, which represents a departure from the traditional policy that focused on only helping them adapt to daily life by providing Korean language instruction and cultural exchange programs.

    From April to November 2015, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will conduct the Global Trade Professional Training Project for 540 foreign residents.

    This project consists of: (i) the Trade Academy, made up of five courses; (ii) expert mentoring in specialized areas, after completion of the Trade Academy; (iii) and an employment and business creation service, which liaises with the Seoul Global Center to offer trade internships and hold job fairs for foreign residents. Moreover, the project provides systematic support throughout each phase of development.

    First, the Trade Academy offers several courses, including the Introduction to Trade and Global Shopping Mall Creation courses, as well as an FTA specialist course and an advanced intensive course, which provide the students, in stages, with the theory and practical experience they need to engage in trade.

    To increase the efficiency and professionalism of the training, the Seoul Metropolitan Government established a cooperative network with external specialized institutions in relevant fields. As such, the curriculum of the Introduction to Trade course was developed by the Korea Trade Association; the FTA specialist course was designed by the Seoul Main Customs Office of the Korea Customs Service; and the Global Shopping Mall Creation course was set up by Café 24, a private firm.

    Classes will be offered on weekdays, nights, and weekends, as most foreign residents are busy working or attending school. Tuition for the program is set at KRW 10,000 to 50,000, and if a student maintains an attendance rate of over 80 percent, he or she will receive a complete refund. All foreign residents who are interested in trade, have sufficient command of the Korean language to follow classes taught only in Korean, and possess the proper visa to stay in Korea may apply.

    Second, after students complete the Trade Academy, the expert mentoring system organizes them into specialized areas and designates businesspeople currently engaged in trade as mentors for each group. The groups then share market and product information through meetings, workshops, and forums, thereby allowing each student to find employment or start their own business.

    Finally, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will assist graduates of the program with their job search or business startup. In particular, capable foreigners aspiring to become an entrepreneur will be offered business incubation spaces at the Seoul Global Center or the Global Business Centers in the Gangnam or Yeouido areas, in the early stage of their business activities. Foreigners who wish to get a job will be recommended for internships or directed to foreign resident job fairs.

    □ For questions, call ☎ 02-6001-7241~2, ☎02-2075-4117

    □ Website: Seoul Global Center (URL: global.seoul.go.kr)

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