President Karis: Estonia is a gateway to the European market
Speaking to leading local business figures in Seoul today, President Alar Karis remarked that Estonia’s active start-up scene offers South Korean investors excellent opportunities and that Estonian companies have world-class products and services to offer. “With our first-rate business environment we are a gateway to the European market,” he said.
The head of state says the Estonian embassy and business hub in the South Korean capital will contribute significantly to developments in relations and economic cooperation between the two countries. “They will provide Estonian companies with the support they need to enter the South Korean market and showcase Estonia as an excellent destination for investments and a possible gateway to Europe,” he explained. “The priority areas in our bilateral economic relations, which is to say those with the greatest potential for growth, are timber products, modular homes, the hydrogen sector and the food-processing, maritime and shipping industries.”
President Karis noted that South Korea had been very successful in digitalising its industry and economy. “Estonia will be happy to share its experience and its digital and cyber success stories to assist in South Korea’s efforts to establish digital public services and a digital society as well,” he added.
In the new business hub, the Estonian company Elcogen and the Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering Co., Ltd. (“KSOE”), which forms part of the HD Hyundai group, signed an agreement which will see 45 million euros invested in the company in Estonia. These funds are to be used to construct a new production unit in Tallinn. The heating elements manufactured by Elcogen will enable the Korean shipping company to adopt new types of fuel on its vessels, thereby reducing its environmental footprint.
Meeting with SK Group and Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman Anthony Chey, President Karis outlined the opportunities open to South Korean enterprises to invest in Estonia. The largest companies in the SK Group primarily operate in the energy, oil and chemical industries. The country’s largest mobile communications service provider, SK Telecom, and the world’s fourth-largest microchip manufacturer, SK Hynix, also form part of the group.
The Estonian head of state also met with HD Hyundai President Chung Ki Sun, was introduced to the activities of the LG Sciencepark and discussed cooperation opportunities with its president and LG Group Technology Council chairman I. P. Park.
President Karis has been accompanied on his visit to South Korea by an Estonian business delegation. An air service agreement has been signed by Estonia and South Korea as part of the visit, while Woodhouse Estonia has entered into a cooperation agreement with the Korea Wood Construction Association, Elcogen has signed agreements with both HD Hyundai and Bumhan Fuel Cell, and EIS (Invest Estonia) has entered into a cooperation agreement with SK Square.