REPUBLIC OF SOUTH KOREA
The Korean government carries out two main programs to support exports of agricultural products. One is a marketing program which subsidizes costs for Korean companies participating in trade shows. Expenditures for this program are estimated at $1.4 million and are included in Table 1 of this paper. The second program is a credit subsidy program, which is not included in the table. Both programs are executed by the Agricultural and Fishery Marketing Corporation (AFMC), a quasi-government agency. Korea is one of the major markets for agricultural promotions. The FAS Agricultural Trade Office estimated that more than 16 other competitor countries -- in addition to the United States -- promoted their agricultural products in Korea.
AFMC has participated in food exhibitions since 1988 in order to develop agricultural export markets. It participates in large food exhibitions such as Green Week and ANUGA in Germany, Foodex in Japan, FMI in the U.S.A. and SIAL in France. AFMC sources said that in 1995 a total of 365 companies participated in 15 major overseas food shows under Korean pavilions organized and sponsored by AFMC, and made export contracts worth $108 million. AFMC is participating in close to 15 major food shows worldwide in 1996. AFMC organizes and recruits Korean food processors and provides them with free booths under the Korean Pavilion at food shows. Korean food processors cover all other expenses including travel and lodging. These companies normally exhibit traditional Korean foods and generally target Korean residents in foreign countries. Products promoted are primarily processed products. AFMC funding for these activities is estimated at $1.4 million for 1996.
AFMC also provides credits of about $77 million (60 billion won, $1 =780 won) to Korean exporters for periods of 3, 6 or 12 months to purchase raw agricultural products such as chestnuts, mushrooms, apples, pears and strawberries. More than 90 percent of agricultural products purchased with credits are exported to Japan. It is estimated that $5.7 million in credit was made available to Korean exporters for these activities, which are not included in Table 1 of this paper.
As a major importer, Korea attracts most of the major agricultural producing countries and their producers' and processors' promotions. It is estimated that 16 countries other than the United States budgeted about $9.4 million for promotions in Korea. Canada accounts for one-third of the promotion expenditures by competitors, followed by Australia (19 percent) and New Zealand (18 percent). Malaysia, the EU, China, Chile and Scandinavia compete less aggressively. Top commodities promoted by competitors are meat and poultry products, forest products and oilseeds.