Speaker of the Hungarian National Assembly László Kövér arrived in Seoul for an official visit on 8 May and held talks with Chang-Yang Lee, the trade, industry and energy minister.
The statement by the Press Office of the Hungarian National Assembly quoted the House Speaker, who met with the minister on the first day of his official visit to South Korea, as saying that ‘the Republic of Korea is our key strategic partner in the region with whom we have developed one of the closest trade and investment cooperations in the region.’ Kövér emphasised that Hungary is committed to further developing relationships with South Korea. ‘We appreciate the contribution of the Republic of Korea to the development of the Hungarian economy, and the Hungarian government will continue to support the operation of Korean companies,’ Kövér stressed. He also mentioned that in both 2019 and 2021, South Korea was the largest foreign investor in Hungary.
In 2020, the stock of direct investments from South Korea reached over $6.8 billion, which is 6.7 per cent of the total investment stock. In 2020, 130 Korean companies employed 15,206 people in Hungary, and the Hungarian government has several strategic agreements with Korean companies.
Kövér called the expansion of economic and trade relations, particularly in areas that add value and help Hungary adapt to the economic demands of the 21st century, a Hungarian national interest. He mentioned the cooperation possibilities in the fields of machinery and battery manufacturing, as well as space exploration and nuclear power. The Speaker of the National Assembly highlighted the upcoming 2024 Budapest meeting of the Hungarian Korean Economic Joint Committee, which he hopes will provide new impetus to the advancement of economic relations between the two nations.
According to the statement, at his meeting with Kövér, Chang-Yang Lee spoke about Hungary’s stable and secure economic environment for South Korean companies, ‘which serves as a guarantee for new investments,’ and asked the Hungarian government to continue to ensure favourable economic conditions for South Korean companies’ investments in Hungary. Kövér said that the government is committed to maintaining a competitive environment in Hungary, including by reducing labour taxes and controlling inflation. The statement mentioned that the talks also covered incentives for training industrial experts in Hungary, as well as the possibilities of cooperation in engineering education.
László Kövér also met the head and members of the Korean-Hungarian friendship section of the Korean National Assembly, as well as those of the Korean Hungarian Friendship Society. In addition, he visited the Liszt Institute in Seoul and was briefed about bilateral cultural relations. On Tuesday, 9 May, the speaker will have official talks with Kim Jin-pyo, President of the Korean National Assembly.