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Food Ministry, CJ China team up for exports

‘The MOU underscores the economic cooperation of the civil enterprise and the farm industries, which will bring larger opportunities to the nation to export our produce.’

South Korea’s Agriculture Ministry will sign a cooperation pact with retail giant CJ to broaden the China-based distribution channel of Korean agricultural products, the ministry said Monday.

Lee Ju-myeung, director general of the Food Industry Policy Bureau of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, will sign a memorandum of understanding with CJ China chief Park Keun-tae on Tuesday in Beijing, over sorting out Korean food products with high sales potentials in China and marketing them through CJ’s television home shopping and online stores.

“The MOU underscores the economic cooperation of the civil enterprise and the farm industries, which will bring larger opportunities to the nation to export our produce,” Lee said.

The ministry acknowledged that Korean agricultural goods currently being sold in CJ’s Chinese home shopping channel are scarce, limited to a handful of products including canned tuna.

Winged by the Korea-China free trade agreement and China-based subsidiaries of the Korean conglomerate, the ministry seeks to penetrate China’s 20.7 billion yuan ($3.3 billion) television home shopping market.

Since 1995, CJ Group has launched operations in 34 Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, running 95 corporations, 19 factories and 36 offices.

The annual sales of Chinese operations of CJ O Shopping, a home shopping subsidiary of CJ Group, tops 1 trillion won ($900 million). CJ O Shopping currently runs three in-China home shopping corporations, including Dongfang CJ in Shanghai, Tiantian CJ in Tianjin and Nanfang CJ in Guangzhou.

The export drive is part of the Park Geun-hye administration’s push to develop new growth engines for the nation’s agricultural sector in the sidelines of the government’s three-year economic innovation plan.

By Chung Joo-won (joowonc@heraldcorp.com)
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