The Korea International Trade Association (KITA) hopes to build a new venue to hold conventions with the aim of strengthening the MICE industry (meetings, incentives, conventions, events and exhibitions).
The association currently operates COEX, a center of world convention centers and exhibition halls located in Samseong-dong, south Seoul, but said at a press briefing on Friday that the venue did not have the ability to meet growing global demand in the MICE industry. In fact, the volume of national trade increased from $ 332.8 billion in 2000 to $ 963.3 billion in 2015.
âKorea is currently ninth in terms of trade volume and 18th in exhibition space,â said KITA President Kim In-ho. âBut our infrastructure for the MICE industry has not kept pace with this growth over the years. Seeing the impact that a convention could have, like the recent Consumer Electronics Show, we felt the need to expand our convention infrastructure and the timing of the government’s plan for Jamsil.
The Seoul city government confirmed in April its intention to develop a specialized zone to stimulate international trade in the zone encompassing COEX and the Jamsil sports complex. Part of its plan includes the construction of a huge convention and exhibition center that will encompass more than 100,000 square meters (328,084 square feet) of land. KITA hopes to win the bid to be the main operator of the construction project and integrate it with COEX and City Airport, Logis & Travel, Korea (CALT). The company’s main operator will be selected by 2018 and construction will take place from 2019 to 2025, according to the proposed plan.
Competition is fierce, however, in order to win the bid, the association decided to focus on securing financial support, as it must cover at least 15% of the cost of construction with its own funds. . The association will use the companies COEX and CALT to achieve this.
âThe world is undergoing restructuring and the association must respond effectively to the changing environment,â said Kim. “We aim to ensure that our affiliates focus exclusively on what they are supposed to do, which means COEX will focus on conventions and exhibitions while CALT will focus on logistics rather than others. activities such as space rental and management. ”
Following the announcement, COEX Mall will begin to seek commercial operators capable of handling the retail stores currently doing business in the COEX building, while the space rental activities of COEX and CALT will be outsourced to a other specialized company. The association said existing employees who looked after these business divisions will be assigned to other jobs and will not be made redundant. Internal restructuring is expected to be completed by this year.
BY KIM JEE-HEE [[email protected]]