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Food ministry steps up globalizing Korean cuisine

The government is bolstering efforts to promote Korean cuisine in the Japanese market, the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said yesterday.
Part of the stepped up efforts include offering advice through the ministry`s "Hope Consulting" program to overseas Koreans, for instance, operating Korean restaurants in Japan. The ministry said about 180 Koreans residing in Japan sought consultation, much more than the government had estimated.
The ministry stressed that the role of Korean restaurant operators abroad could not be more important for successfully globalizing the nation`s cuisine.
The government`s efforts come as the competitiveness of Korean restaurants in Japan is declining, while the popularity of Thai and Italian restaurants expands rapidly, according to the Agriculture Ministry.
While noting that "success" stories were more important than ever for instilling hope to ambitious restaurateurs, the ministry stressed that the government was committed to implementing promising policies.
Other efforts to invigorate Korea`s farming and food industries include boosting agricultural exports, such as by expanding export channels in China, the ministry said.
The Lee Myung-bak administration has embraced globalizing Korean cuisine and expanding agricultural exports as a new growth engine.

By Yoo Soh-jung