Port of Gdańsk – South Korean business drives the Polish economy
Poland is increasingly perceived as a good place to establish a business and an attractive and reliable business partner, also by South Korean companies. A great opportunity to build or strengthen business relations between Polish and South Korean companies was provided by the Port of Gdańsk Authority S.A., who organised “Business Mixer 2023”, an international conference that took place in Seoul on 27-28 April. It was held under the patronage of the Ministry of Infrastructure.
Today, South Korea is a leading foreign investor in Poland. There are nearly 550 companies with South Korean capital in Poland, and this puts the Republic of Korea in second place, after the USA, among the largest non-European investors in Poland. In late 2020, the value of all investments from South Korea in Poland amounted to EUR 3.06 billion. South Korean entrepreneurs are investing in greenfield projects in Poland, implementing modern technologies and their own know-how. They have become a key investor in many Polish industries as well as a reliable partner in innovation. According to data from the Polish Investment and Trade Agency, entrepreneurs from the Republic of Korea most often choose Poland as a location for advanced electromobility, energy and transportation processes.
The Port of Gdańsk, Poland’s largest port, acts as a perfect intermediary. For Asia, we are a marine gateway to the markets of Central and Eastern Europe, the most dynamically developing region of the European Union. It is an ideal sales market of 100 million consumers, but also an important place for the production and constantly growing exports of high-quality products to markets all over the world.
Although Poland and South Korea are separated by almost 8,000 km, it is safe to say that we definitely have more in common than not. We have a surprisingly similar history. This is the history of the struggle for independence, autonomy and the right to self-determination. Our close relations are based on shared values such as democracy, human rights and respect for tradition – said Sławomir Michalewski, vice-president of the Port of Gdańsk, at the opening of the conference. South Korea lived in the shadows for decades – especially in the shadow of Japan. Until 1989, Poland existed as a country within the socialist Eastern Bloc behind the Iron Curtain. For us Poles, South Korea is a country of new and advanced technologies combined with hardworking people who consider duty a sacred matter. And what do South Koreans associate Poland with? It turns out that they associate our country with Chopin, the Solidarity movement, porcelain tableware from Bolesławiec and beautiful nature. I have recently learned that Poland is also a frequent choice, not least because of its direct flight connection for the honeymoon of young South Korean couples.