7:35:PM  |  23 February 2018

Other News & Events

NZers Perceptions of Asia and Asians


Click here for the PowerPoint presentation from the event.


Prime Minister John Key upstaged by robot in South Korea


Click here to watch the video.


Sustainability Market Intelligence Report for Korea


Below is the August 2012 report from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise on sustainability issues with respect to the Republic of Korea’s food and beverage market:

August 2012 Quarterly Report

The growing importance of sustainability as a market driver in some of New Zealand‟s food and beverage export markets has led the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to prepare a quarterly report for business people highlighting trends and issues in key markets.




  • Local food movement begins in Korea: Community-based farmers‟ markets and other “eat local” projects are becoming increasingly popular in Korea.
  • Fair trade products gaining more popularity: A recent survey by Starbucks shows increasing awareness of fair trade products in Korea.
  • Number of rice-farming households drops 30 per cent over 11 years: number of South Korean rice-farming households has declined more than 30 per cent over the last 11 years due to falling demand for rice.
  • Government increases monitoring on feed price fixing: The South Korean government will increase monitoring of feed prices as well as financial support for sectors of the populations considered to be vulnerable to grain price surges.
  • Introduction of low carbon emission food products: Tofu products from a leading Korean food manufacturer Pulmuone recently certified as “low carbon emission products”.Increasing focus on animal welfare: various schemes established at the national and provincial level around certification of farms with good animal welfare practices.



Local food movement takes root in Korea

Community-based farmers‟ markets and other “eat local” projects (highlighting the benefits of locally-grown foods) are becoming increasingly popular in Korea. The „buy local‟ movement has reportedly provided a new revenue stream for Korean farmers. The movement also appeals to some consumers, as an alternative to purchasing from global food conglomerates. According to Jeong Eun-mi, a researcher at the Korea Rural Economic Institute, “Many rural communities are interested in the local food movement, for it promises farmers a steady stream of revenue and consumers a supply of fresh harvests at cheaper prices. They see it as a chance to revitalize rural economies, which have lost their vibrancy over decades with the decline of agriculture in Korea.” However, imported foods have also been making substantial inroads into Korean kitchens. According to a recent study by the National Institute of Environmental Research, in 2010 Koreans consumed 468 kilograms per person of imported food on average, up from 410? 22 kilograms per person in 2001. Korea‟s dependence on imported food has increased, in particular in grains, vegetables, and fruits.

Koreans‟ recent interest in local food has also been analysed as reflecting a growing concern over food safety and security. Korea‟s food self-sufficiency was over 80 per cent in the 1970s, prior industrialization but dropped to 34 per cent in 1985. It stood at slightly over 50 per cent in 2009, the lowest among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The figure for grains, including rice, was 26.7 per cent. Last year‟s global food shocks caused the Korean government to raise self-sufficiency targets. The new target for grain self-sufficiency is 30 per cent by 2015, an increase from the previous goal of 25 per cent.

Fair trade products becoming more popular in South Korea

According to a recent survey published in May by Starbucks Korea, coffee and tea were the most popular fair trade products in Korea. Seventy one per cent of respondents (484) had purchased fair trade coffee and tea in the past, followed by chocolates (25%), sugar (2%), wine (1%), cosmetics (0.5%) and cotton products (0.5%).

Sixty-two per cent of the respondents indicated that they were “well aware” of the fair trade movement and thirty-five per cent responded that they had heard about it but didn‟t know much about it. Respondents indicated that they had heard about the fair trade movement through social media (33%), media articles (26%), NGOs (20%) and Starbucks coffee shops (14%).


Reduction of rice-farming households by 30 per cent in 11 years

The number of South Korean rice-farming households has declined more than 30 per cent over the last 11 years due to falling demand for rice.

Annual rice consumption per capita dropped to below 70kg for the first time last year and is forecast to decrease to 50kg over the next 10 years. This has prompted concern around the future of rice producing communities.

According to the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MIFAFF), there were an estimated 750,000 rice-farming households last year, down from 777,000 households a year previously. This represents a 3.5% decline, three times higher than the rate of decline across all farming households (1.2%) last year. Total numbers of rice-farming households have decreased by approximately 30.4% over the last 11 years.

Government to increase monitoring of feed prices

The government will expand financial support for sectors of the population considered “vulnerable to grain price surges”. It plans to take actions aimed at mitigating damage from price increases, including keeping zero tariff regimes on wheat, corn and soybeans for animal feed and increasing roughage supply. The government also plans to increase the soybean inventory volume in the domestic market and store an extra supply of wheat, soybeans and corn overseas. Financial support for grain import companies will also grow from 320 billion won ($282 million) to 500 billion won this year.

The government also plans to stabilize feed prices through providing additional support funds for feed purchases, which will be extended to relevant industries at an annual interest rate of three per cent. The Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MIAFF) is 23?   considering providing farming households with feed subsidies temporarily in case of animal feed price hikes.


Introduction of low carbon emission food products

Tofu products from a leading Korean food manufacturer Pulmuone were recently certified as “low carbon emission products” by the Korea Environmental Industry and Technology Institute. The company‟s three kinds of organic tofu products are the only tofu products to receive that certification in Korea. To meet certification requirements, the company altered processing facilities and technologies to reduce CO2 gas emission per year by 165 metric tonnes. The company has also reduced the weight of plastic packaging.

Interest in animal welfare increasing in Korea

n Korea various schemes have been established at the national and provincial level around certification of farms with good animal welfare practices. At a national level, twelve chicken farms have been certified by Korea‟s Quarantine Inspection Agency (QIA) to be “Animal Welfare Farms”. The Local Government in Jeolla Nam-do Province has also selected and designated ten farms as “Animal Welfare Green Farms”. One of the requirements for the QIA certification of chicken farms is providing more space for animals (around 4 times greater than the average in Korea). QIA reports that many farms are showing interest in the scheme, and it expects to certify forty more chicken farms by the end of 2012.


While the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise have verified the information in this document, we make no representation as to the completeness, correctness, currency, accuracy or fitness for any purpose of the information. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise will not be responsible for any damage or loss suffered by any person arising from the information contained in this document, whether that damage or loss arises from negligence or otherwise.


US Dept of Agriculture Report on Korea’s Food Service Sector


Although it is now two years old, some members might be interested in the USDA report to be found by clicking here.


Prime Minister’s Address to the Kiwi Chamber in Seoul, 26 March

Chairman Grant Phillips, members of the Kiwi Chamber and guests.

Thank you for inviting me here this morning to exchange views with you.

I’d like to take this opportunity at the outset to express my appreciation to the Kiwi Chamber for your tremendous fundraising efforts following the Christchurch earthquake of 22 February 2011.

I understand that as much as NZ$76,000 went to the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal and NZ$6,000 to the New Zealand Red Cross thanks to your efforts. Your support for the people of Christchurch is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

I am delighted to be back in Seoul. And can I say that I’m particularly delighted to be here on this day. Because it was on this day, the 26th of March, exactly 50 years ago, that the governments of New Zealand and the Republic of Korea entered into formal diplomatic relations. I think that’s a milestone we can be very proud of.

When I visited Seoul in July 2010 President Lee Myung-bak and I agreed that 2012 would be known as our two countries’ “Year of Friendship”.

Over the 50 years of our diplomatic relationship our two countries have created a web of cooperation that we can celebrate - and which we very much want to enhance.

This was the commitment President Lee and I made in 2010 – that we have a vibrant and broad relationship built on strong historic ties, shared values and mutual commitment. And that we will build a platform for our relationship to move forward.

We reconfirmed this commitment during our conversation yesterday.

Our strong historic ties were founded upon the battlefields of the Korean War over 60 years ago. Yesterday I visited the New Zealand and Australian Memorial at Kapyeong, the site of one of the most critical battles of the war.

At the memorial I remembered the 6,000 New Zealanders who served in the Korean War, those who survived and the 45 who sadly lost their lives. This was a horrendous struggle, the legacy of which endures today.

New Zealand is enormously proud of its ties with the Republic of Korea.

This is a nation that has demonstrated real grit and drive to succeed. It is a nation that has evolved, following the devastation of war, into a dynamic and innovative global world economy and international leader.

Determination and drive are characteristics we see in our 30,000-strong Korean community in New Zealand. In sport, in education, in the creative arts, in business and in community leadership, they are features we see in our own Korean community. And my colleague, the Honourable Melissa Lee MP, Parliamentary Private Secretary for Ethnic Affairs who has accompanied me on this visit, also exemplifies those characteristics.

Today, almost 60 years after the Korean War ended, New Zealand continues to work with the Republic of Korea and its allies to maintain peace on the Korean Peninsula.

We remain committed to our contribution to the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission, which supervises the Korean Armistice Agreement.

We work with our Korean and other regional partners to build open and inclusive regional dialogue and cooperative programmes to advance our region’s economic growth and security.

We combine our efforts in international forums such as this week’s Nuclear Security Summit to build a safer environment for our children to inherit.

We are close to concluding an Antarctic Cooperation agreement and a defence-related Information Sharing Agreement. We are deepening our dialogue as aid donors with a shared interest in using international development as a way to improve the livelihoods and resilience of our partners.

And we have taken forward our cooperation in science and innovation by launching a third three-year programme of joint activities. This next programme will focus on green growth, Antarctic research, and new medicines and medical applications.

Two-way trade between our countries has reached NZ$3 billion and continues to grow. Korea is now our fifth-largest trading partner and remains New Zealand’s second-largest source of international students and seventh-largest source of tourists. More than 50,000 Koreans visited New Zealand last year. As Minister of Tourism, that’s something I’m delighted to hear.

And I’m pleased that some of our New Zealand businesses are breaking into the Korean market, not only in the food and beverages sector, but also with cutting edge technology.

An example is New Zealand post-production company Sauce, which recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with major film VFX company CJ Powercast for development of film and related projects. This could lead to a stream of work worth many millions of dollars.

Similarly, we hope you are enjoying eating New Zealand-made Airborne Honey, which is available on the shelves of E-Mart. And if you are a pizza fan you may have tried New Zealand’s famous Hell Pizza at one of its three stores in Seoul.

I see you also have New Zealand products on your tables today, including Charlies’ juices, for which Korea is now the biggest export market outside Australia.

But while it’s good to see that our trade is continuing to grow, the fact remains that we can do better. The share of imports into each other’s market is slipping relative to each of our key competitors. To put it more simply, trade between our two countries is simply not growing as fast as our trade with other countries.

Korean products are well known and widely used in New Zealand. But imports from countries that New Zealand already has FTAs with – like China, the 10 ASEAN countries, and the P4 countries of Brunei, Singapore and Chile – are growing much faster than imports from Korea.

And while our exports to Korea are growing, our share of Korea’s imports has roughly halved since 2000.

The reasons for this are clear – as we both move to provide preferential access to other countries through bilateral and regional trade agreements, our exporters are each becoming relatively less competitive in each other’s markets.

We need to address this.

As New Zealand and Korea negotiate FTAs with a wider range of countries, this trend is only going to accelerate.

And while our relationship is much deeper than just trade, I do want to see Korean companies enjoying the same level of access to New Zealand’s market as some of your neighbours.

And I would also expect that, in this Year of Friendship, Korea would want to ensure that New Zealand exporters were not discriminated against relative to our competitors, including those from the United States and Europe.

Concluding an FTA in this Year of Friendship would be a great testament to our bonds, and it would create business and economic links that would drive growth and innovation.

It would make doing business easier and enhance flows of people and investment between our two countries. And it would ensure that, as we continue to reduce tariffs for other countries with which we have FTAs, our exporters will not be edged out of each other’s markets.

Before I conclude, I’d like to touch on one of the specific topics the Kiwi Chamber has asked me to cover today. That is, what New Zealand can do to enhance global food security at a time of growing uncertainty and volatility.

It may be no surprise to you that it is my view that a New Zealand-Korea Free Trade Agreement will enhance both New Zealand’s and Korea’s capacity to supply safe, healthy food in a cost-effective and competitive way.

New Zealand does not have unlimited capacity to grow food. Even if we converted all our land to farms, there is no way we could meet the growing demand in this part of the world for healthy and safe agricultural products.

But, what we can do, is help our trading partners take full advantage of what New Zealand has to offer.

We produce healthy and safe food for international consumers at a time of the year when their domestic growers cannot.

Our exporters supply high-quality food ingredients to Korean companies that are in the engine room of Korea’s drive to boost its high value food exports. And Korean consumers know and love New Zealand kiwifruit – and are getting to know more about New Zealand’s world-class wines.

An FTA with New Zealand will build the business links that will give Korean manufacturers secure and reliable access to products they want and need.

Korea is an export-focused economy. It doesn’t have the natural resources that countries like New Zealand are blessed with. So, to export more, Korea needs to import more. An FTA with New Zealand will help.

It’s also a fact that stronger commercial links will lead to commercialisation of our science and technology collaboration.

We’ve already seen the potential for that in the world-leading collaboration on healthcare robotics between the University of Auckland and Korea’s Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute.

Innovation is a key driver of economic growth for Korea and New Zealand.

It’s a key component of my Government’s priorities and I’ll be happy to comment further on that in our Q & A session shortly.

But for now, I’d like to conclude by emphasising that I see exciting possibilities for Korea-New Zealand collaboration in areas that are priorities for both our economies.

As I was returning from Kapyeong yesterday, it struck me that New Zealand and Korea have shared many things throughout the years. When times were hard we were by each other’s side, with a shared vision of a better tomorrow.

I strongly believe that now is the time for us to once again forge ahead together to create continuing prosperity for our peoples.

Thank you.


Report on the IT Market in  Korea – Korea’s IT Industry in Transition


Click here for the report from the Samsung Economic Research Institute.


Report on the Korean Wine Market


Click here for the report from the US Department of Agriculture.


NZTE Report


New Zealand Trade and Enterprise recently placed on their Website a detailed report entitled “Cosmetics, Skincare and Toiletries Market in South Korea, January 2012”.

Here is a direct link to the report – http://www.nzte.govt.nz/explore-export-markets/market-research-by-industry/Creative-industries/Documents/Cosmetics%20Skincare%20and%20Toiletries%20Market%20in%20South%20Korea%202012.pdf