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[2012 G-FAIR KOREA] Interview with Hong Ki-hwa, CEO of the Gyeonggi Small & Medium Business Center | Korean Products

September 22, 2012

“We’ll provide the perfect business platform for SMEs with 2012 G-FAIR KOREA”

Hong Ki-hwa, CEO and president of Gyeonggi Small and Business CenterHong Ki-hwa, CEO and president of the Gyeonggi Small & Medium Business Center is a top administrator who has built his career in the field of promotion of exports and exhibitions. Mr. Hong worked as president of KINTEX (Korea International Exhibition Center) and president of KOTRA (Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency) before he was appointed as the head of the agency dedicated to promoting trade for SMEs in Gyeonggi province in 2008.

Under his leadership, the GSBC has internally undergone a series of changes, designed to revitalize the organization. He introduced new measures such as an annualsalary system covering all staff members, BSC and MBO in a bid to create a performance-oriented culture.

Externally, he took the lead in beefing up the agency’s overseas networks by expanding the operation of Gyeonggi Business Centers in Los Angeles, Shanghai, Shenyang, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Moscow and Sao Paulo. In fact, GBC branches are playing a role in expanding the influence of Korean companies in the BRICs with great growth potential.

He was also praised for nurturing G-FAIR KOREA into Korea’s largest trade fair for SMEs, in fact as well as in name.
His inspiring leadership has naturally resulted in a great performance by his agency. Both GSBC and Mr. Hong were handpicked as the best performers in the 2012 performance evaluation of public institutions.

With the 2012 G-FAIR KOREA only one and a half months away, GSBC and staff are working hard at lastminute arrangements for the trade fair, set to be held from October17 to 20 in KINTEX in Ilsan. Mr. Hong revealed his enthusiasm and aspirations for G-FAIR KOREA as a leading market platform for small businesses during the following interview:

G-FAIR KOREA is known for a specialized trade fair for SMEs in Korea. Could you talk more about the G-FAIR?

Since it was established in 1999 to provide a business platform to SMEs with difficulties in finding markets, G-FAIR KOREA has been uniquely positioned to become Korea’s largest trade fair for SMEs.

Now in its 15th edition, G-FAIR KOREA is playing a role as a marketing outlet devoted to SMEs from all types of industry, unlike the traditional trade shows taking place by industry.

To have better access to new markets, we are using our network of branches of the Gyeonggi Business Center (GBC), based in BRICs. Around 500 international buyers and 150 Korean retail marketers will be invited to the upcoming show.

Please tell us about some of thekey features of this year’s G-FAIR?

We are concentrating on providing the perfect business platform for SMEs with 2012 G-FAIR KOREA. First of all, we are designing hall organization by industry for a specialized trade show. And participating companies will be able to have better business opportunities by holding one-on-one sales talks with invited overseas and domestic buyers in their booth.

As one of the most outstanding features, this year’s show will be held jointly with the GBEX-2012 KOREA Small Business Expo and G-Design Industrial Fair at the enlarged exhibition space of 53,271 square meters from last year’s 48,890 square meters. The exhibition period also extends from three days to four days.

The expanded space will allow us to display a wider range of consumer goods than any other previous ones, which are in growing demand for international buyers and domestic retail marketers. During the 2012 G-FAIR KOREA, G-Design Industrial Fair and GBEX-2012 are concurrently taking place.

What do you expect from it?

This is a win-win situation all around. The G-FAIR will enjoy the benefits from the larger-sized trade fair and GBEX-2012 KOREA Small Business Expo will be a great opportunity to promote the Korea’s franchise business to buyers. Furthermore, we will be able to let people know about the potential of Korea’s industrial design industry.

What special events are you preparing for the upcoming 2012 G-FAIR KOREA?

With the participation of about 1,700 booths at the 2012 G-FAIR, we are arranging diverse programs, one-on-one foreign buyer meetings and purchase meetings Korean buyers from large retailers. They are going to be fully designed to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) open new markets at home and abroad. We are going to arrange prior matching systems so as to maximize business opportunities between exhibitors and buyers.

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