The Memorandum of Understanding will last for two years

BALTIMORE, MD (September 20, 2021) – First Lady Yumi Hogan today joined the President of the Korea SMEs and Startups Agency (KOSME), Hakdo Kim, to sign and witness a cooperative agreement that will foster economic growth and development between the state of Maryland and the Republic of Korea. The First Lady was joined by representatives from the Maryland Department of Commerce’s Office of International Investment and Trade and the Maryland Secretary of State John Wobensmith.

As part of the agreement, Maryland and KOSME will support Korean small and medium-sized businesses, as well as startup companies, interested in entering green and high-tech sectors within the U.S. market. Maryland and Korea will explore opportunities to assist these companies with a successful transition into the United States, with the potential for them to participate in Maryland’s recently announced Soft Landing Program. The two entities will also partner to share resources and information in a number of sectors, including but not limited to aerospace, biohealth, cybersecurity, and renewable energy, to strengthen the industries both at home and abroad.

“Collaborating with the Republic of Korea and KOSME not only benefits both of our regions, but it further solidifies Maryland as the prime destination for entering the United States,” said Governor Larry Hogan, who signed the agreement prior to today’s meeting. “I am pleased to support this partnership and look forward to watching our international relationship strengthen in the years to come.”


“South Korea and the state of Maryland have something in common in terms of core industries, such as information and communications technology, biomedical science, and renewable energy,” said KOSME President Hakdo Kim. “KOSME is now running a program in partnership with BioHealth Innovation, Inc. in Maryland in order to support the U.S. market entry of Korean biomedical SMEs. I believe that the MOU will be a great opportunity to expand the partnership to green and high-tech fields and promote regional innovation for South Korea and the state of Maryland.”

South Korea is Maryland’s 11th largest export market, up from 17th in 2020, with roughly $255 million in goods exported through July of this year. This increase is largely due to expanded exports of natural gas and products related to the life sciences industries. To continue assisting companies during the pandemic, the Maryland Department of Commerce is currently leading a virtual trade mission for local small businesses to assist them with exporting to Korea.


About Maryland Commerce

The Maryland Department of Commerce stimulates private investment and creates jobs by attracting new businesses, encouraging the expansion and retention of existing companies, and providing financial assistance to Maryland companies. The Department promotes the State’s many economic advantages and markets local products and services at home and abroad to spur economic development and international investment, trade and tourism. Because they are major economic generators, the Department also supports the Arts, film production, sports and other special events. For more information, visit

About KOSME and KBDC-Washington, D.C.

Korea SMEs and Startups Agency, KOSME, as the leading government agency supporting the growth of SMEs in South Korea, has been implementing various initiatives from policy funds to overseas marketing, human resource development, and startup and technical assistance for Korean SMEs for the last 42 years since its establishment in 1979. KOSME has 32 regional offices in South Korea, and 27 global offices around the world, including KBDC-Washington, D.C.

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