“Latvia and South Korea have taken an important step in strengthening bilateral economic relations and confirmed their interest in active cooperation,” the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economics Arvils Ašeradens emphasised after his working visit to South Korea.
“We are glad to say that the volumes of trade transactions between Latvia and South Korea have been increasing in recent years and South Korea has already been successful in cooperating with Latvian pharmaceutical, construction materials, timber industries, as well as peat processing companies. However, we still have broad opportunities to develop cooperation with South Korea and the agreement on the expansion of cooperation signed during the visit, and the negotiations launched with Samsung on the development of a technology research and development centre in Riga will become an important basis for the activation of bilateral cooperation”, Arvils Ašeradens emphasizes.
As we informed earlier, a number of agreements on the extension of cooperation with Latvia were signed in South Korea as part of the State President’s visit – a memorandum of understanding on the promotion of mutual economic relations and strengthening of international trade between the South Korean Import Association KOIMA and the Latvian Investment and Development Agency, a memorandum of understanding between the LIAA and the Government of the Gyeonggi Province on the possibility of cooperation in technology transfer and startup ecosystem development, as well as a memorandum of understanding between the LIAA and the South Korean Pallet and Container Association.
Within the framework of the memorandum of understanding between LIAA and KOIMA, the parties have committed to inform about events expected in the future and to initiate joint events related to trade and the expansion of business relations. The memorandum aims to promote bilateral trade and business cooperation between enterprises of the two countries, organise meetings and trade missions, inform about the market, identify business opportunities, and help to organise and support participation of companies of the two countries in exhibitions taking place in the partner country. In turn, following the signing of the memorandum between LIAA and the Gyeonggi Province, it is intended to establish an action plan and to implement several collaboration projects, such as provide support in the establishment of Korean startup companies in Latvia, etc.
Meanwhile, during the meetings with the South Korea’s largest mobile operator SK Telekom it was agreed to open negotiations on the review of roaming tariffs to facilitate the exchange of business and tourists between Latvia and South Korea.
“During the visit, when we met South Korean entrepreneurs at the Business Forum, we received several indications of interest in closer cooperation with Latvian entrepreneurs, as they have gained visibility in this country with their high quality and special niche products. I am convinced that the opportunities provided during the visit to meet South Korean entrepreneurs will help to establish new cooperation contacts and we will be able to expect the first fruits of the Business Forum in the near future,” the Minister of Economics says.
As it was written above, the first Latvian-South Korean Business Forum was held within the scope of the State President’s visit to South Korea, which gathered a wide range of Latvian and South Korean entrepreneurs. Representatives of 23 companies from sectors like timber industry, food, transport, glass processing, IT, marketing and consulting participated from the Latvian side. In turn, more than 80 government representatives, members of business associations and business representatives from sectors like timber industry, tourism, legal services, trade, mechanical engineering, biomedicine, IT, pharmaceutical industry, food production, manufacture of electrical equipment and logistics, etc. participated in the forum from the South Korean side.
The visit of the State President Raimonds Vējonis was the first visit of the highest level Latvian official to South Korea. In addition, during the visit the State President was accompanied by a big delegation of Latvian businessmen who met South Korean businessmen during their visit to discuss possible joint cooperation projects.
Although for several Latvian companies this was the first visit to Korea, the visit of the Latvian delegation has delivered positive results for cooperation and export development. For example, a timber importer from South Korea is planning to visit Latvia in the near future to visit several Latvian timber businesses.
Public Relations Division
Ministry of Economics