U.S.-based global trade marketplace MeetChina.com and the Korean International Trade Association’s (KITA) global trade website, EC21.com, announced here today plans to enable thousands of small and medium-sized Korean businesses to trade directly with overseas companies over the Internet. Deepening the partnership, MeetChina.com will make a significant investment in stock and cash in EC21.com to support integration of the MeetChina.com trade platform and the development of a Korean-language portal.
EC21.com, which also operates a Korean version of its site at EC21.co.kr, will provide the company’s more-than-11,000 Korean business members with access to the MeetChina.com suite of tools to complete cross-border transactions online. EC21.com and EC21.co.kr visitors will have access to a wide range of trade-related services, including online negotiation, purchase order generation, and online ordering for shipping, insurance, and payment facilitation. EC21.com, Korea’s most popular global trade site for small and medium-sized businesses, is one of the most visited trade marketplaces on the Internet, currently receiving over 90,000 page views per day.
MeetChina.com, in addition to operating China’s largest cross-border trade platform, has also recently announced joint ventures in India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
“Establishing this relationship with EC21.com and KITA will open global markets for small and medium-sized Korean manufacturers and traders, allowing them to transact with businesses overseas and get competitive pricing on a full range of trade services,” said Len Cordiner, CEO of MeetChina.com. “EC21.com has built a vibrant community of businesses. We intend to provide the next generation of online trade functionality to extend the reach of EC21.com members to new markets and help shave dollars off bottom lines by cutting the costs of trade.”
The e-marketplace is expected to connect Korean buyers and sellers of products across all industries with buyers and suppliers around the world using MeetChina.com’s cross-border trade platform. EC21.com looks to help Korean enterprises become more competitive globally, enabling them to discover new trading partners and manage trades themselves with customers anywhere in the world.
“This relationship with MeetChina.com will give Korean small and medium-sized businesses direct access to a world-class global trade platform, and tens of thousands of businesses around the world,” said Kwon Taekyung, CEO of EC21.com. “Many Korean manufacturers are concerned about maintaining growth in the future. Opening new channels of trade will help secure opportunities for smaller businesses now facing tough times.”
From January through November this year, South Korea’s total exports totaled $157.7 billion, up sharply from $128.7 billion in the same period in 1999. Of that, more than 40% came from small and medium-sized businesses. Imports amounted to $147.3 billion, up from $107.2 billion a year earlier.
EC21.com, operated by the Korea International Trade Association is a “virtual trade point web service” through which international and Korean businesses can meet to exchange information on their companies and products, and to buy or sell desired items. Launched as KOTIS in 1986, EC21.com is a privately-held electronic communication system being utilized by approximately 75,000 Korean traders – the nation’s largest and sole data base service providing domestic and overseas trade information.