KOTRA CEO Kwon Pyung-oh

Korea’s state-backed outfit erroneously announce candidate list of new recruits

If you are business partners of Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), you may have to rethink what the state-backed outfit officially announces.

Last week, KOTRA disclosed 159 finalists who are supposed to undergo interviews of the Seoul-based entity, which plans to hire 53 new recruits this year.

On October 20, however, KOTRA noted that it mistakenly included eight to the interviewee list. As a result, it excluded the eight.

While coming up with an apology, KOTRA said that it failed to fully reflect the English conversation test.

Understandably, the eight protested while asking KOTRA to rescind the decision, but KOTRA refused to do so.

A KOTRA official said that the organization has to stick to the principle. If the erroneous announcement incurred costs to the eight, the official said that KOTRA would compensate for it.

People lash out at KOTRA. Some netizens even suspect that KOTRA might have tried something irregular so as to include some applicants.

Such suspicions appear to rise because similar scandals took place in other companies here, including local banks over the past few years.

KOTRA flatly rebuffed such claims, though.

KOTRA was founded in 1962 to promote Korea’s international trades. It also played a crucial role in attracting foreign investment in Korea.

KOTRA has a network of more than 120 offices in more than 80 countries across the world.

Late last year, Kwon Pyung-oh took charge of the outfit.

Kwon was also appointed as an ambassador to Saudi Arabia during the Park Geun-hye administration, which observers pointed out was quite an unusual step for a life-time bureaucrat in the industry ministry.