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Korea, Poland ink 33 high-tech, energy deal, pledge support for Ukraine’s reconstruction

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : July 14, 2023 - 19:36

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President Yoon Suk Yeol, currently on an official visit to Poland, and Polish President Andrzej Duda greet attendees on Friday after delivering speeches at the Korea-Poland Business Forum held at a hotel in Warsaw. (Yonhap) President Yoon Suk Yeol, currently on an official visit to Poland, and Polish President Andrzej Duda greet attendees on Friday after delivering speeches at the Korea-Poland Business Forum held at a hotel in Warsaw. (Yonhap)

WARSAW, Poland -- South Korean and Polish businesses formalized 33 memorandums of understanding across the high-tech, energy and service industries during a business forum held in Poland's capital Warsaw on Friday. The deal was reached in the presence of South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, who also committed to bolstering the private sector's involvement in Ukraine's post-conflict reconstruction efforts.

The South Korean and Polish firm's 33 deals include 11 within high-tech sectors, such as battery tech and future vehicles. Another 13 involve the energy sector, featuring nuclear power, hydrogen and eco-friendly energy, while the remaining nine concern services industries, such as finance and tourism.

In the forum's opening speech, Yoon assessed that economic cooperation between the two nations has reached a new crossroads, citing last year's largest-ever exports of defense products to Poland and a significant on-year increase in trade. He emphasized the need to broaden cooperation beyond high-tech sectors like aerospace, smart factories and eco-friendly energy to include defense and infrastructure as well.

The forum drew approximately 350 attendees, comprising business professionals and government officials from both Korea and Poland. Attendees included the economic delegation accompanying the visit.

Poland, the sixth-largest domestic market among the 27 European Union countries, is a vital gateway to the European market, according to the presidential office. Home to the largest battery factory of a Korean company in Europe, about 350 Korean firms have established a presence there.

Yoon also proposed that Korea and Poland collaborate on a post-war restoration project in Ukraine, suggesting that such reconstruction efforts could present a new chapter in cooperation between the nations.

Later, Yoon attended a meeting with Korean entrepreneurs interested in participating in Ukraine's reconstruction.

“As we have experience in rebuilding the country through the support of the international community after the Korean War, our experience and support will be of great help to Ukraine's post-war recovery and reconstruction,” Yoon said.

“As participating in the reconstruction of Ukraine is an important opportunity in terms of winning overseas infrastructure orders, the government will actively support the private sector to take the initiative in rebuilding Ukraine.”

The meeting was designed to proactively strategize for participation in Ukraine's reconstruction, with Poland expected to play a central role given its proximity as Ukraine's closest neighbor. This meeting follows up on the agreement between the leaders of the two nations.

At the Korea-Ukraine summit held in Hiroshima, Japan, in May, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy solicited the participation of Korean companies in Ukraine's post-war reconstruction. The leaders concurred on the necessity of such cooperation.

At the meeting, Korean companies, which are promoting participation in the reconstruction project in Ukraine in various fields such as construction, energy, water resources, information technology, railroad vehicles and construction machinery, discussed the current business conditions in Ukraine and their entry strategies.

The companies included Samsung C&T, Hyundai Engineering & Construction, Kolon Global, HD Hyundai XiteSolution, Hyundai Rotem, Yushin Engineering and Naver.