In March, South Korea’s Small and Medium Business Administration (SMBA) announced a program to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) succeed in China and make the most of a bilateral free trade agreement.
The government will provide support in legal consulting, technological development, design and brand marketing, among others.
SMEs that export more than US$1 million worth of goods a year are eligible to apply. About 100 companies will benefit from the scheme.
A month later, SMBA followed up with an innovative plan to tap Chinese students in South Korea to help domestic firms crack the mainland market.
Twenty teams of two (one Chinese and one Korean) from Tongmyong University in Pusan will be trained by local SMEs and then sent to various inland cities in the mainland including Xian, Chengdu and Zhengzhou to market the products of those SMEs, according to Hong Kong Commercial Daily which cited South Korean media.
Another 100 Chinese students will be picked to spearhead a marketing campaign to help South Korean SMEs do online marketing on major Chinese e-commerce sites such as Taobao.
Students will be given basic subsidies. On top of these, they could win scholarships.
While SMEs will benefit, South Korea can also build up its talent pool of China marketing professionals.
Hong Kong has no lack of mainland students, many in postgraduate programs, so why not take a leaf from South Korea?
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