Since its establishment in 1962 as part of the Koreas first 5-year Economic Plan, KOTRA has been dedicated to creating new export markets and increasing Koreas trade value, which reached $1 trillion in 2011. In the late 1990s, the agency helped Korea overcome the Financial Crisis by starting its foreign direct investment promotion division. And in the last half century, KOTRA has played a significant role in supporting Korean companies expanding overseas.
Today, the world economy is more volatile than ever due to the European financial crisis, China's hindered economic growth, upcoming elections in 15 countries and security issues in the Middle East. In preparation for a rapidly changing market environment, and using Koreas expansive FTA network, KOTRA is focusing on the globalization of small and medium sized enterprises(SMEs), the backbone of the Korean economy, by providing them with customized support related to global business establishment and export.