Poland is increasingly seen as a good place to locate a business, as an attractive and reliable business partner. Also by Korean companies. A great opportunity to build and strengthen business relations between Polish and Korean companies was the “Business Mixer 2023” organised by the Port of Gdansk Authority S.A. “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.
South Korea is today the leading foreign investor in Poland. Nearly 550 companies with Korean capital operate in the country on the Vistula River, and this puts the Republic of Korea in second place, after the USA, among the largest non-European investors. At the end of 2020, the value of all South Korean investments in Poland amounted to EUR 3.06 billion. Korean entrepreneurs invest in greenfield projects, implementing modern technologies and their own know-how in Poland. They have become a key investor for many Polish industries and a reliable partner in the development of 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 processes in the electromobility, energy and transport sectors.
The Port of Gdansk, Poland’s largest port, performs well in its role as an intermediary. For Asia, it is the maritime gateway to the markets of Central and Eastern Europe, the most dynamically developing region in the European Union. It is an ideal market of 100 million consumers, but also an important place for the production and ever-growing export of high-quality products to markets all over the world.
– Although Poland and South Korea are almost 8,000 kilometres apart, it is safe to say that we definitely have more in common than divides us. We have a surprisingly similar history. It is a history of struggle for independence, autonomy and the right to self-determination. Our close relations are based on common values such as democracy, human rights, and respect for tradition,’ said Slawomir Michalewski, Vice President of the Port of Gdansk, at the opening of the conference. – Korea lived for decades in the shadow – especially in the shadow of Japan. As a country of the socialist eastern bloc, Poland functioned behind the Iron Curtain until 1989. South Korea is, for us Poles, a country of new, advanced technologies, of very hard-working people for whom duty is a sacred thing. And what do the Koreans associate Poland with? It turns out that they associate it most with Chopin, the Solidarity movement, table porcelain 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 Korean couples.
The Port of Gdansk invited Polish companies from the energy, logistics, design, chemical, and automotive industries to participate in the event. In four panel discussions, representatives of Polish and Korean business presented their vision of building alternative bridges connecting Europe and Asia using Poland and Korea as logistics hubs. The Port of Gdansk’s strategic location, modern infrastructure, competitive prices and special economic zone status give it an advantage over other European ports. These advantages have contributed to the growth and success of the port in recent years, making it an important hub for trade and investment between Asia and Europe.
The Business Mixer featured four panel discussions. The first ran under the theme: ‘Seaports as a window to the world of global business’. It was attended by representatives of: the Port of Gdansk Authority, the Baltic Hub terminal, the largest Korean port of Busan, and PSA Korea (PSA Group is one of the world’s largest container operators, owns the largest container port in the world – in Singapore, and is also a shareholder in the Baltic Hub in the Port of Gdansk).