Korean delegation to visit Miami next week
By Claudio Mendonça
Two Korean delegations are headed to Miami to find trade links that could include a permanent office in the Miami Free Zone.
On Oct. 17, Kwan Woon Song, vice governor of Jeollanam-do, a province off Korea's southwestern coast, is to promote his region's tourism and transportation facilities at a breakfast with officials of the Beacon Council, Miami-Dade County's International Trade Consortium, the Miami Free Zone and the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau followed by one-on-one business meetings. The ITC has seven one-to-one encounters scheduled.
"They (Koreans) are looking at Miami as the gateway to Latin America and the United States," said Desmond Alufohai, business manager of the county's trade consortium. "They want to expand and be successful in Latin America and cooperate with Miami-Dade County."
Korea is the county's 32nd-largest trade partner at $321 million annually.
Jeollanam-do has 4,000 miles of coastline, about 2,000 islands and three national parks, yet is within 650 miles of four major cities - Beijing and Shanghai in China and Tokyo and Osaka in Japan - with populations in excess of 10 million each.
The mission is also promoting the port of Gwangyang as the logistics and transportation hub for Northeast Asia. The aim is to create a free economic zone there for shipping, transportation and distribution of goods and services.
"The provincial government has designated transportation and logistics as one of its strategic priorities," Mr. Alufohai said.
The Koreans are considering establishing an office in Doral in the 825,000-square-foot Miami Free Zone.
"This trip is a fact-finding mission that can hopefully lead to the leasing of some exhibition space," said Gary Goldfarb, executive vice president of the Miami Free Zone. He said 15,000 square feet of exhibition space is available.
Korean interest in Miami as a springboard to Latin America continues Oct. 26 as the Korea Trade Center hosts a trade show with 10 companies from the province of Chungbuk. Manufacturers exhibiting are to be from an array of industries including biotechnology firms and makers of magnetic devices.
The show is scheduled for 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at InterContinental Hotel Airport West, 2505 NW 87th Ave.
Details: Korean Trade Center, (305) 374-4648; Miami-Dade County
International Trade Consortium, (305) 375-3526.