Craig Foss with Kiwi Chamber members in Seoul.
Craig Foss with Kiwi Chamber members in Seoul.

As the Minister for Small Business, Craig Foss met with a group of Kiwi Chamber members in Seoul to discuss issues and opportunities for Korean and New Zealand small businesses.

It was agreed that New Zealand's underlying brand reputation and bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with Korea provide a solid foundation on which to expand the trading relationship and to increase businesses awareness of each other's sophisticated consumer markets.

The minister met with the current Korean President of the International Council for Small Business (ICSB), Kim Ki-chan, and Vice Chair of the Korea Small Business Institute, Lee Joon-ho. 

President Kim invited the Minister to attend and speak at the Ministerial Summit during the week-long 2016 ICSB World Conference in New Jersey in mid-June. 

This year’s conference will focus on the role of entrepreneurship and innovation in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals of a society. 

In addition, Mr Foss visited the Gangnam offices of Korean accelerator SparkLabs which is part of the Global Accelerator Network alongside New Zealand’s Lightning Lab. 

SparkLabs co-founder Jimmy Kim and principal Eugene Kim outlined how they were successfully supporting entrepreneurs from Korea and elsewhere to get their creative business ideas funded and into the market.

In his capacity as Associate Minister for Transport, Mr Foss visited Hyundai Motors’ Namyang R&D Centre to observe the cutting edge technologies being developed by the world’s 5th largest automaker. 

He showed specific interest in road and driver safety during the tour to clash testing, and passenger and pedestrian safety simulation facilities.