Austrian Business Leaders and Government Officials Discuss Economic Ties with South Korea

PeoplePoliticians ♦ Published: May 14, 2023; 23:47 ♦ (Vindobona)

The President of Austrian Chamber of Commerce Harald Mahrer welcomed South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo. South Korea will be a global hotspot for future technologies of central importance for Austria.

WKO President Harald Mahrer Revieved South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo / Picture: © WKO Austrian Chamber of Commerce

The President of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce (WKÖ), Harald Mahrer, welcomed South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo and the country's Minister of Employment and Economy, Martin Kocher, for a roundtable discussion on economic ties between the two nations. The meeting was attended by representatives of Austrian businesses, and focused on opportunities for future cooperation in innovative technologies, sustainability, and consumer goods.

South Korea is a key global hub for cutting-edge technologies, and is of great importance to Austria and its export industries. The country is the world's tenth-largest economy and the seventh-largest exporter, making it one of the most innovative nations on the planet. More than 1,000 Austrian companies export to South Korea, and the two countries share a strong trade relationship.

"Our goal is to deepen our excellent economic relationship with the Republic of Korea. I am delighted to welcome Prime Minister Han Duck-soo to the WKÖ and to have the opportunity to exchange important economic issues at the highest level," said Mahrer.

The two countries have a strong trade partnership, with exports to South Korea reaching an all-time high of €1.76 billion in 2022, representing an increase of 36.5% compared to the previous year. Austria, in turn, imported goods from South Korea worth €1.12 billion. While traditional sectors such as the automotive and machinery industries remain important for both countries, there are many opportunities for innovative Austrian companies to collaborate with South Korea in future industries such as Industry 4.0, process automation, digitalization, robotics, the Internet of Things, AI, life and biosciences, and the energy transition.

"In today's complex and interconnected world, cooperation between two countries that share common values is more important than ever," said Prime Minister Han Duck-soo. "I look forward to expanding economic cooperation between our two countries, which share many similarities such as export-oriented economic structures, continuous investment in research and development, and a stable business environment. I hope that my visit to Austria will create further connections between our two countries."

Austria's Minister of Employment and Economy, Martin Kocher, noted that the current economic and geopolitical situation makes it necessary to seek solutions for the future together with reliable partners. South Korea is one of the world's most innovative countries, and there are excellent opportunities for Austrian firms in sustainable transformation and machinery. "Our goal is to further exploit this great potential for economic cooperation," he said.

The roundtable discussion demonstrated the strong economic relationship between Austria and South Korea, and highlighted the potential for increased cooperation in innovative industries and consumer goods. The visit by Prime Minister Han Duck-soo is a positive step towards strengthening the already strong ties between the two countries.