South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) launched an agency dedicated to boosting military exports on 19 November.
The new Defense Export Promotion Center (DExPro) is intended to help local industry engage with international opportunities in line with DAPA's increasing emphasis on facilitating industrial collaboration with foreign companies.
DAPA said DExPro will be supported by several government agencies - including DAPA, the Ministry of National Defense (MND), the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), and the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy (MOTIE) - that will provide export support for local companies and particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
DAPA added that the new centre, which is scheduled to be operational in early 2019, has been influenced by the export model established by the UK, which supports military exports through its Department for International Trade (DIT) Defence & Security Organisation (DSO).
DExPro will be a "one-stop service centre" to help exporters in areas such as licences, intellectual property, technology transfer requirements, and administrative procedures, said DAPA.
It added that the centre will also provide support in promotional activities such as attending foreign defence exhibitions and in helping Korean companies establish trade partnerships with foreign companies to enable integration into international supply chains.
Outlining the requirement for DExPro, DAPA said it is important to boost military exports in line with the government's view of the defence industry as a "growth engine" of the national economy. DAPA also said South Korea was experiencing "slowing export growth" in the defence sector.
South Korea's defence exports grew rapidly from 2006 until 2012, during which time they increased from USD250 million to more than USD2 billion. This was mainly due to the success of platforms including the Korea Aerospace Industries' (KAI's) T-50 Golden Eagle advanced jet trainer in international markets, particularly in Southeast Asia.
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