Bilateral Profiles and National Agencies > Korea (Republic of)

General Information on South Korea development cooperation

Korean aid is mainly managed by two key ministries. The first is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT), which is responsible for Korea’s aid policy and for roughly half of all of Korea’s bilateral ODA. This half is implemented through the Korea International Co-operation Agency (KOICA). The second is the Ministry of Strategy and Finance (MOSF), which determines Korea’s concessional loan policy. This is implemented through the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF), which was established by the Korean Government in 1987. The operation and management of the EDCF are entrusted to Korea Eximbank (KEXIM). A further 30 other ministries, agencies and municipalities are involved in providing small amounts of grant aid, mainly in the form of technical co-operation.

In 2011, Korea’s net official development assistance, ODA was US$1.325 million, representing 0.12 per cent of its GNI. The Government sets explicit targets, and has committed to reaching a ratio of 0.25 per cent for ODA/GNI by 2015 (an estimated US$3 billion). Korea joined the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee in 2010. Korean development assistance consists predominantly of bilateral aid, which in 2011 made up 75 per cent of its ODA, whilst 25 per cent was channeled multilaterally. Korea has set a target ratio of bilateral to multilateral funding of 70:30 to be achieved from 2012 to mirror as closely as possible the DAC average multilateral aid share, which was 28 per cent in 2011. Given the major increases planned in Korea’s ODA over the next three years, it could be easier to grow Korea’s ODA through increased contributions to the multilateral channel. In addition, Korea’s system for managing aid is more concentrated than most DAC members. In 2011, 88 per cent of Korea’s ODA was concentrated in two ministries: MOFAT (and its agency, KOICA) and MOSF (and its agency, KEXIM).

Aid for Trade (AfT) Strategy

Korea does not have an explicit AfT strategy. However, its development projects and technical cooperation include some important elements of AfT, such as: (i) economic infrastructure; (ii) fostering exports, including policy formulation for export promotion; and (iii) building productive capacity. Korea’s total AfT allocation in 2010 stood at US$1.7 billion, and its commitments were in the area of trade economic infrastructure, mainly in the transport and storage and energy sectors. The table below summarizes Korea’s Af T commitments (in US dollars, for selected AfT categories):

Selected ODA components

2009 US$

2010 US$

Trade policy and regulation and trade-related adjustment



Economic infrastructure



Building productive capacity



Total sector allocable ODA was



Principal official agencies responsible for TCB assistance to developing countries


Export-Import Bank of Korea – Korea Eximbank (KEXIM)

38 Eunhaeng-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul 150-996

Republic of Korea

Tel: +82 2 3779 6114

Fax: +82 2 3779 6777


Export-Import Bank of Korea – Korea Eximbank (KEXIM): is an official export credit agency providing comprehensive export credit and project finance to support Korean enterprises in conducting business internationally. Since its establishment in 1976, the Bank has endeavored to facilitate the development of the national economy and enhance economic cooperation with foreign countries. Its primary services include export loans, trade finance and guarantee programs structured to meet the needs of its clients in a direct effort to both complement and strengthen their competitiveness in global markets. The bank also provides overseas investment credit, natural resources development credit, import credit, and information services related to business opportunities abroad. It is responsible for the operation of two government funds: the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF), a Korean ODA program, and the Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund (IKCF), an economic cooperation programme with North Korea.

For more information:


Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA)

418 Daewangpangyo-ro, Sujeong-gu

Seongnam-Si, 461-833 Gyeonggido

Republic of Korea

Tel: +82 31 740 0221

Fax: +82 31 740 0698


Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA): was founded on April 1, 1991, as a government agency responsible for grant aid to support poverty eradication and socio-economic development in developing countries, enhancing international development cooperation as well as strengthening partnerships with developing countries. KOICA’s missions are as follows: realization of sustainable socioeconomic development for the enhancement of the quality of life and the eradication of poverty in developing countries; and contribution to global issues related to international development cooperation to harmonize development efforts with those of the international community. Over the last two decades, KOICA accounted for 46.93% of Korea’s bilateral ODA budget and 78.38% of grant aid, asserting its position as Korea’s primary grant ODA agency. KOICA utilizes diverse ODA program schemes such as development projects, dispatch of overseas volunteers and experts, capacity development program that is widely known as invitational training. It also cooperates with international organizations to build partnership in development and assists civil society organizations to expand their grass-roots development activities. Consistent with the UN’s MDGs, KOICA allocates support to five sectors as follows: education, health, governance, agriculture, forestry & fishery, industry & energy. KOICA has 46 overseas offices and regional representative in 44 partner countries, which play a critical role in implementing its aid programs at the field level.

For more information:

Other government and official agencies with responsibilities directly relevant to TCB


Ministry of Strategy and Finance (MOSF)

Government Complex 477 Galmae-ro

Sejong City 339-012, Republic of Korea

Tel: + 82 44 215 2114



Ministry of Strategy and Finance (MOSF): was established in 2008 from the merger of two ministries, the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MOFE) and the Ministry of Planning and Budget (MPB). It was set up with the aim of putting fiscal policy functions and inter-ministerial policy coordination under one roof. Its Economic Cooperation Bureau coordinates external economic policies on trade and promotes economic cooperation with other countries and international organizations, while its Development Cooperation Division is especially responsible for formulating and implementing policies on concessional loans and for managing the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) through the Korea Export and Import Bank (Korea Eximbank − KEXIM).

For more information:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT)

60, Sajik-ro 8-gil, Jongno-gu

Seoul 110-787

Republic of Korea

Tel: +82 2 2100 0809

Fax: + 82 2 2100 8346



Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT): The Development Cooperation Bureau within MOFAT supervises bilateral grant aid and multilateral aid to the UN and other multilateral organizations. It oversees and coordinates grant aid by formulating overall grant aid policy direction and annual strategies, regional and country-specific program, while supervising KOICA to execute grant aid programs. MOFAT also acts as an Executive Secretary to the Inter-Agency Grants Committee and its sub-committees. The Committee is chaired by the Vice Minister of MOFAT and brings together all the organizations (ministries, committees and agencies) managing grant aid to ensure effectiveness and coordination by preventing fragmentation and overlapping of policies and programs. As for the international emergency relief and humanitarian assistance, MOFAT acts as a channel of cooperation with other donors and international organizations such as the OECD and the UN.

For more information:

Other official or government trade-related organizations

Korea Africa Economic Cooperation Conference (KOAFEC): KOAFEC does not limit itself to being a mere conference. Rather, it is a comprehensive mechanism for the pursuit of a lasting and mutually beneficial partnership between Africa and Korea. As an integrated system equipped with various financial facilities, KOAFEC aims to further the economic development of Africa and Korea by identifying, developing, and financing projects which maximize the two regions’ cooperative synergies. KOAFEC first began as a one-off ministerial-level policy dialogue between Africa and Korea on Africa-Korea economic cooperation in Seoul, Korea, from 24 to 30 April 2006, and has since evolved into a concrete channel for economic cooperation. KOAFEC enjoys full support from its co-organizers, the African Development Bank, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance of Korea, and the Export-Import Bank of Korea.

For more information:

Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA): KOTRA is committed to promoting mutual prosperity between Korea and its trading partners by facilitating international commerce and investment. Its Korea Business Centers worldwide help Korean exporters meet local requirements, and provide personal services to foreign investors considering a location in Korea. KOTRA introduces overseas buyers to the most appropriate business partners in Korea through its wide-ranging inquiry network as well as through business meetings held year round. It provides buyers visiting Korea with assistance in arranging business meetings with Korean companies and collecting information on Korean products and suppliers. KOTRA also dispatches groups of Korean exporters abroad to explore global markets with the help of local Korea Trade Centers.

For more information: and

Invest KOREA (IK): IK, Korea’s national investment promotion agency, was established within the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) with the sole purpose of supporting the entry of foreign business into Korea and its successful establishment there. With assistance extending to comprehensive post establishment services, IK enables foreign corporations to maximize the benefits of the Korean investment environment to ensure their rapid settlement in the country. The agency is committed to providing an unmatched, comprehensive one-stop service that allows foreign investors to join many of the world’s most successful corporations which have selected Korea as an investment destination and been rewarded by high returns on their investment. IK has its headquarters in Seoul and has 39 Korea Business Centers located in important centres of commerce around the world.

For more information: E-mail: and

Invest Korea Plaza (IKP): IKP is the first business incubator complex in Korea for foreign investors. As part of efforts to improve the environment for foreign investment in Korea, the former Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy, now the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, devised the master plan for the IKP project.

IKP offers furnished offices, cutting edge conference facilities and on-site comprehensive services, ranging from investment consultation, provided by representatives of Invest KOREA and numerous government agencies and ministries, to orientation programs on Korean business culture and information.

For more information: and

Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC): is a ministerial-level central administrative organization under the authority of the Prime Minister, and also functions as a quasi-judiciary body. The Commission formulates and administers competition policies, and deliberates on, decides, and handles antitrust cases. It performs its roles and duties independently without any intervention from an outside organization. It consists of a committee, the decision-making body, and a secretariat, a working body. The KFTC is committed to four main mandates: promoting competition, strengthening consumers’ rights, creating a competitive environment for SMEs, and restraining the concentration of economic power.

For more information:

Korea International Traders Association (KITA): KITA is Korea’s foremost trade promotion organization. It aims to support domestic companies in expanding their business on a global scale and to foster partnerships between domestic and overseas enterprises. It is the largest business association in Korea, with 65,000 member firms. Its mission is to promote global trade and shared prosperity, and to support Korea’s business community through research, training, and the networking of Korean enterprises with the global trade community. KITA works to shape trade policies, both domestically and internationally, in order to improve conditions for companies that pursue international trade with Korea. It provides trade-related policy recommendations to Korean and foreign governments and international organizations like the WTO, and places special emphasis on developing and maintaining cooperative relationships with overseas trade promotion organizations and major international organizations to facilitate reciprocal trade and investment. Such activities include exchanging trade information and organizing bilateral economic events, such as the Korea/Pacific US States Joint Conference and the Korea-New Zealand Business Roundtable, as well as trade promotion events and joint research.

For more information: E-mail: and

Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO): KIPO is a governmental authority in charge of intellectual property matters in Korea. Its mission is to help Korea become an advanced country by: (i) providing a legal and institutional administration for the creation and utilization of highly creative, value-added intellectual property; and (ii) promoting technological innovation and industrial development. The main functions of KIPO are: (i) examining and registering intellectual property rights (for patents, utility models, trademarks and industrial designs); (ii) conducting trials on intellectual property disputes; (iii) managing and disseminating information on intellectual property rights; (iv) promoting and raising public awareness of invention activities; (v) promoting international cooperation on intellectual property rights; and (vi) training experts on intellectual property rights.

For more information:

Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS): As the national metrology institute (NMI) of Korea, KRISS is assigned to conduct missions to promote Korea’s industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement standards, science, and technologies in ways that enhance the nation’s economic performance and secure a better quality of life for all. KRISS provides internationally recognized national measurement standards to its customers in various industries as a means of helping improve the quality and competitiveness of Korean industrial products and exports in global markets.

For more information: and

Non-governmental organizations involved in TCB

Korea Economic Research Institution (KERI): KERI is a think tank whose aim is to contribute to the growth and development not only of Korea but also of the global economy as a whole by establishing and disseminating the principle of a free market economy and corporate growth. KERI provides practical guidance towards the establishment of world management strategies for companies through an analytical and systematic gathering of data on domestic and foreign economies and industrial trends.

For more information: and

Korea NGO Council for Overseas Cooperation (KCOC): KCOC is an association of 66 development NGOs that implement development and aid projects with the aim of eradicating poverty around the world. In order to facilitate the overseas aid projects of development NGOs, the organization actively promotes a variety of activities, including information sharing among its member organizations, capacity building programmes for NGOs and their workers, research projects on development NGOs, and advocacy.

For more information:

National Agricultural Cooperative Federation (NACF): The NACF is the representative of agricultural cooperatives and NGOs in Korea and liaises with overseas cooperatives and international organizations. International relations provide a window to share information, knowledge, and perspectives on the farm sector and cooperative society. The NACF is a member of such prominent organizations as the ICA, AFMA, APRACA, IFAP and EAOC, and has participated in the meetings and cooperative actions of numerous international bodies at both global and regional levels, including the OECD, WTO, APEC, UN FAO, IFAD and FFTC. The scope of NACF’s international cooperation involves not just contacts with overseas cooperatives and organizations but research on the model practices and management of these organizations, and related government agricultural trade strategies.

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TCB cooperation initiatives with UN/international agencies and bilateral partners

Channeling aid through multilaterals is one way to efficiently manage a rapid increase of aid. Korea increased its core contributions to the multilateral system in 2010 and 2011 and it plans to strengthen its support in the future. These increases are in line with its policy of allocating 30 per cent of its total ODA to the multilateral channel. In 2011, Korea’s multilateral ODA amounted to USD 337.4 million (in current price), an increase of 16 per cent over 2010 in real times. In terms of volume, Korea was the 20th largest DAC contributor of multilateral ODA in 2010.

As part of its AfT contributions, Korea also contributes to the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the WTO trust funds and to a range of bilateral and multilateral programmes. Korea has generic guidelines for its aid including projects/programmes related to AfT and regularly monitors the impact of its aid projects/programmes.


Selected TCB programmes and activities described in this guide


  • Support for the Integrated Framework (IF) for Trade-Related Technical Assistance for LDCs
  • WTO Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund (DDAGTF)


  • Development of Karian Multipurpose Dam Project – Indonesia
  • Jalaur River Multi-purpose Dam Project – Philippines
  • Increasing Rice Seed Production Project – Laos
  • Irrigation Facility and Agriculture Mechanization Project – Tanzania
  • Irrigation Facility Development Programme – Mali
  • Markala Sugar Cane Farm Development Project – Mali
  • Monkol Borey Dam Development Project – Cambodia
  • Potato Production Technology Assistance Project – Algeria
  • Poultry Processing Project − Angola
  • Sala Ta Orn Dam Development Project – Cambodia
  • Technology Development Center Extension Project − Kenya
  • Textile Technology Training Aid Project − Guatemala
  • Wajo Agricultiral Products Development Center Project – Indonesia


  • Erbil Quality Testing Center Modernization Project – Iraq
  • Project for Developing Safety Control System for Mongolian Animal Products—Mongolia


  • Digitalization of Customs Service System Project – Dominican Republic
  • Establishment of Intelligent Transportation System in Santo Domingo Project – Dominican Republic
  • Intelligent Transportation System Project for Ho Chi Minh-Trung Luong Expressway – Vietnam
  • Laguindingan Airport Air-Navigation System and Support Facilities Supply Project – Philippines
  • Promoting the narrowing of the information gap through ICT assistance – Morocco
  • Project for Developing Safety Control System for Mongolian Animal Products—Mongolia


  • Bacolod-Silay Airport Access Road Project – Philippines
  • Baler-Casiguran Road Improvement Project – Philippines
  • Banegas Bridge Construction Project – Bolivia
  • Beni River Bridge Construction Project – Bolivia
  • Construction of Hanoi-Haiphong Expressway Project – Vietnam
  • Construction of Vinh Thinh Bridge Project – Vietnam
  • GMS Cambodia Northwest Provincial Road Improvement Project – Cambodia
  • GMS Southern Coastal Corridor Project – Vietnam
  • Hatton-Nuwara Eliya Road Improvement Project – Sri Lanka
  • Improvement of National Road No. 31 and 33, Provincial Road No. 117 and Kampot Bypass Project – Cambodia
  • Improvement of National Road No.21 – Cambodia
  • Improvement of Padeniya-Anuradhapura Road Project – Sri Lanka
  • KOAFEC Infrastructure and Sustainable Natural Resources Development Projects
  • Laguindingan Airport Development Project – Philippines
  • Lo Te-Rach Soi Highway Construction Project – Vietnam
  • Madre de Dios River Bridge Construction Project – Bolivia
  • Malagarasi Bridge & Associated Roads Project – Tanzania
  • Malakand Tunnel Construction Project – Pakistan
  • Modi Khola Hydropower Station − Nepal
  • Nacala Road Corridor Upgrading Project – Mozambique
  • North-South Rail Linkage Project – Philippines
  • Northern GMS Transport Network Improvement Project − Laos
  • Northwest Provincial Road Improvement Project − Cambodia
  • Padang By-pass Expansion Project – Indonesia
  • Pailon-San Jose Highway Construction Project – Bolivia
  • Puerto Princesa Airport Development Project – Philippines
  • Samar Pacific Coastal Road Project – Philippines
  • Vam Cong Bridge Construction Project – Vietnam


  • Project to assist the establishment of a stock exchange—Vietnam