KOTRA (Korea Trade Promotion Corporation initially, Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency since 1995) is a state-funded trade and investment promotion organization operated by the Government of South Korea.KOTRA was established in 1962 as a national trade promotion organization.Since then, it has facilitated Korea's rapid export-led economic development through various trade promotion activities such as overseas market surveys and business matchmaking .
In August 1995, cross-border investment promotion and support for technological and industrial cooperation projects were added to KOTRA's mandate, and it was renamed the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency.KOTRA currently operates Invest KOREA, the national investment promotion agency. Originally initiated as the Korea Investment Service Center (KISC) in 1998, the agency was relaunched as Invest KOREA in November 2003 to support foreign investors with an expanded range of services.
KOTRA now pursues its twin mandates of trade and investment promotion to enhance national prosperity and competitiveness, with the goal of positioning Korea as the business and economic hub of East Asia. With its experience and expertise, KOTRA assists interested parties worldwide to do business with Korea.To take advantage of the era of E-Commerce, KOTRA launched the interactive internet portal sites of Invest KOREA Online (formerly Cyber KISC) in 2003 and BuyKorea in 2004.KOTRA Academy was launched in 2003 as a professional learning center for international business. It is intended that KOTRA's trade and investment manpower will bolster the nation's trade and investment infrastructure.
The KOTRA Seal of Excellence is a seal that KOTRA gives to companies which it deems qualified according to three major criteria. These are: Quality, High Technology, and Trustworthiness. As of June 2010, KOTRA has awarded the seal to 430 different companies. The purpose of the seal is to help foreign companies to identify quality products and companies in Korea.[