The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) held the opening ceremony of its Global M&A Center at the Invest Korea Plaza last month, with about 60 attendees from government agencies, domestic and overseas financial institutions, private equity firms, venture capital firms, accounting firms and other companies.
The center is designed to help small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) complete mergers and acquisitions (M&A).
“Our main focus will be SMEs facing difficulties in overseas expansion. We will support the entry of 10,000 companies into the overseas market and help them secure competitiveness in core technology, brand, sales networks and production,” said Dr. Young Ho Oh, President of KOTRA.
The center also plans to strengthen partnerships with the private sector by establishing a database of M&A service providers including law and accounting firms for SMEs, ensuring them easy access to these advisories worldwide. Aggressive support for M&A is expected to help grow exports and employment.
Amid the prolonged global economic slowdown, countries around the world are using M&A as a tool to steer themselves out of the economic quagmire. China and Japan, in particular, are rushing to buy foreign companies with high potential. Last year, Japan and China posted a record high of KRW 88 trillion and KRW 62 trillion, respectively, in overseas M&A transaction amounts. Korean companies are also showing strong interest in overseas M&A deals. According to a recent survey conducted by KOTRA on 1,366 SMEs, 12 percent of them were interested in overseas M&A. Many of the respondents said they felt discouraged by the lack of information on promising foreign companies for sale.