South Korea will work to nearly double the number of Korean restaurants in other countries, the government said Monday, a move partly aimed at developing the country's restaurant industry and globalizing its traditional food.
The plan seeks to boost the number of Korean restaurants from the current 3,726 in some 40 countries to over 7,000 in 50 nations by 2020, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
The number compares with over 30,000 run by U.S.-based global fast-food chain McDonald's alone, it noted.
"This plan aims to increase the number of Korean restaurants in other countries while also expanding the number of countries with Korean restaurants, which, in turn, will help boost overseas shipments of our traditional food and ingredients," the ministry said in a press release.
To this end, the government has identified 29 major tasks in five areas that include legal support, information sharing and human resources development.
Currently, foreign cooks and other employees of Korean restaurants in foreign countries are unable to receive any job training in South Korea as such training requires medical examination certificates, which are issued to only those with permanent residence in South Korea.
The ministry said it will work to revise the related law, enabling the issuance of medical examination certificates to foreign trainees with a valid passport. (Yonhap)