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KCCI sets 'industrialization of Korean food' as nat'l development project

KCCI Chairman Chey Tae-won, center, poses with celebrities for the official poster of the reality TV culinary show dubbed "Shikjawhaedam." Courtesy of KCCI

The Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) announced Tuesday that it has set the development of the Korean food manufacturing industry as the theme for this year's national growth project contest, Tuesday.

The KCCI started the National Development Project last year to spur private businesses to find solutions to the structural problems facing Korea.

"Industrialization of Korean Food" has been decided as the theme for this year's project, an area with high growth potential where the private sector can spearhead innovation. According to data released by the Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation, the global food market is expected to exceed $8 trillion in 2021 and $9 trillion in 2024. This is 13 times larger than the global semiconductor market as of last year.

The KCCI decided that it was the perfect time to promote the industrialization of Korean food, considering that domestic innovative food tech companies, mainly startups, are aiming to advance into the global market. Recently, K-pop sensation BTS and the hit Netflix series "Squid Game," which have gained worldwide popularity, have contributed to the rise in overseas consumers' interest in Korean food.

"Korean food should be viewed from the perspective of a national brand rather than a simple cuisine," said Choi Gyu-wan, a professor at Kyung Hee University's College of Hotel & Tourism.

The KCCI plans to seek various solutions for the successful industrialization of Korean food.

"We plan to consider projects that can be promoted by collecting various opinions from companies, academia and the general public, and presenting them sequentially." Said Woo Tae-hee, vice chairman of the KCCI.

Written By Kim Hyun-bin

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