The ministry was established at the birth of the Republic of Korea in 1948 as the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) with the mission to coordinate the nation’s industries.
In 1993, MTI was merged with the Ministry of Energy and Resources, an agency launched in 1977 to ensure stable energy supply, to create the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE). The ministry was reorganized in 1998 as the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy (MOCIE) after the new Kim Dae-jung administration transferred its role in trade policy to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. In 2008, the Lee Myung-bak administration launched the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE), integrating key parts of the former Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy, Ministry of Information and Communication, and Ministry of Science and Technology. MKE helped the nation become a knowledge-based economy by reinforcing traditional industrial strengths while developing new growth engines. After taking office in 2013, President Park Geun-hye restored MKE’s trade policy role, renaming it the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE). Now better equipped to deal with the challenges of the 21st century, MOTIE is committed to providing a foundation for economic growth by combining its efforts to fulfill its wide range of responsibilities in the areas of commerce, investment, industry, and energy.