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The Warsaw Voice » Business » November 5, 2008
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South Koreans in Poland
November 5, 2008   
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The Korean Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) held one of its largest-ever trade shows in Warsaw's Novotel Centrum hotel in late October. The "Gyeongbuk Pride Product Road Show," which took place Oct. 30-31, featured around 20 companies from South Korea's Gyeongbuk region exhibiting products ranging from industrial parts to beauty supplies.

"Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Poland and Korea," said Gyeongbuk Governor Kwan-Yong Kim (pictured), leader of the Korean delegation. "We already have companies like Samsung and LG here in Poland producing LCD screens, and Daewoo automobiles are here as well. We want to extend these commercial relations into the diplomatic sphere, so our two countries can develop politically as well as commercially and economically."

The show included dozens of tables showcasing a wide range of South Korean products, including automotive brakes, ochre-based facial masks, batteries, packaging supplies, and even an electric heating vest. KOTRA organizes similar events nearly every year, though not usually on this scale. Their last product show was held in 2006.

As Kim said, the Gyeongbuk region was chosen as the focus this year because of the types of businesses based there. "This region is of special interest, because it's where small and middle-sized companies are doing business," he said. "These companies often have a hard time penetrating foreign markets, so we are trying to help them promote their products abroad."

He added that the trade show was part of a sustained effort to improve cultural and economic relations between South Korea and Eastern Europe. "We are putting a lot of focus on Eastern Europe because of their rich cultural history," he said. "Chopin, for instance, is very interesting to us."This was Kim's second visit to Poland, and it included meetings with Deputy Economy Minister Marcin Korolec and Governor of Mazovia Province Jacek Kozłowski. According to KOTRA, the meetings were intended to improve economic and cultural ties between Poland and the Gyeongbuk region.

A total of 120 buyers from six European countries participated in the show, as well as a number of Polish officials including the president of the Polish Chamber of Commerce and the president of the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency.

South Korea is one of the top 10 investors in Poland.

Hilary Heuler
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