South Korea will send a delegation to Hungary, Poland and Slovakia this week to discuss ways to boost economic and trade ties with the respective European countries, the industry ministry said Monday.
The delegation led by First Vice Industry Minister Jang Young-jin will visit the three European nations from Monday through Friday to meet with senior officials from the nations for talks on enhancing cooperation on steel, batteries and other major industry fields and to hold business forums involving major companies there, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
In Hungary, South Korea will sign the Trade and Investment Promotion Framework with Budapest, a non-binding agreement that calls for enhanced economic cooperation and the facilitation of bilateral corporate exchanges.
It is South Korea’s first TIPF with a European nation and Seoul’s third one following agreements with the United Arab Emirates and the Dominican Republic.
Bilateral trade between South Korea and Poland hit an all-time high of US$8.95 billion last year, government data showed.
In Poland, the delegation will focus on discussions on how to work more closely in the battery, infrastructure and defense fields, as well as the European Union’s safeguard measures against South Korean steel products.
The EU has imposed a 25 percent duty on South Korean steel products above its quotas since 2018, which will remain in effect through June 2024 following a three-year extension in 2021.
Trade between South Korea and Poland also reached a record high last year of $6.96 billion.
In Slovakia, the delegation will have talks on the auto, hydrogen and nuclear power generation industries, among other issues, according to the ministry.
Some 70 South Korean companies have been operating in Slovakia, including Samsung Electronics Co. and Kia Corp., and the Kia factory in the European nation is expected to produce electric vehicles starting in 2025.
“The three nations have been and will be key partners for South Korea in terms of EV, battery and other advanced industries at a time when net-zero industries are becoming more crucial,” the ministry said in a release.