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Ministers Tanja Fajon and Matjaž Han: "The visit to Korea is an excellent opportunity to promote Slovenia"

On the last day of their joint visit to Seoul, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Tanja Fajon and Minister of the Economy, Tourism and Sport Matjaž Han held multiple meetings at the highest political level. They also visited KIA's Research and Development Centre and met with KIA's President and CEO.

"Slovenia and Korea are now at the threshold of a crucial era, since they are both newly elected members of the UN Security Council and the UN Economic and Social Council. As we share similar values, interests and goals, I am pleased that we will work alongside Korea in the most important body of the UN, the Security Council. In the last 30 years, we have established strong political relations and have persistently strengthened our economic cooperation. I believe that we will also successfully work together to ensure world peace and stability," stressed Minister Fajon in her consultation with Foreign Minister Park Jin. The ministers also discussed two important security issues, the first being nuclear disarmament of the Korean Peninsula and the second the Russian aggression against Ukraine, which both ministers strongly condemned. Minister Fajon thanked her Korean colleague for allocating financial support to the Slovenian organisation ITF Enhancing Human Security.

Minister Fajon also met with Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo, with whom she discussed current affairs and the cooperation of Slovenia and Korea in the UN Security Council. "When facing major global challenges, Slovenia and Korea can actively contribute to global security by searching for democratic and inclusive solutions, which should be based on the digital and green transformation."

Minister of the Economy, Tourism and Sport Matjaž Han met with Korean Minister for Trade Dukgeun Ahn. They spoke about the possibilities for economic collaboration. Minister Matjaž Han presented to the Korean Minister for Trade the country's development investments in the Slovenian economy, especially focusing on research and development along with investments in productivity, which are critical for enhancing the competitiveness and exports of Slovenian companies. He pointed out that the Slovenian automotive industry is being restructured and converted to focus on green electrical mobility, which the government will support by investing €200 million by 2027. He emphasised Slovenia's excellent geostrategic position, which enables Korean companies to reach a €500 million European market in the most economical way, which is through the Port of Koper. The Minister also briefly discussed tourism and Slovenia's advantage for Korean guests; in this context, he mentioned that we would like to welcome them in greater numbers after the pandemic. He also highlighted Slovenia's film industry, which is also a very important sector in Korea. Minister Matjaž Han also called for the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency KOTRA to reopen a representative office in Slovenia, which would further enhance business cooperation between the two countries.

Korean Minister Ahn pointed out that the logistics and transport sector, the energy sector and the automotive industry, especially investments in electric vehicles, are very important for the Korean economy. He expressed his fondness for Slovenia and assured support for Korean companies entering the Slovenian market.

"The country must play an active role by securing investments and helping companies enter foreign markets or they will enter into transactions on their own. We, as politicians, must do our part and support them. That is precisely why we have been here in Korea these past few days and I am delighted to say that the first reactions to Slovenia's presentation have been positive. We must continue at this pace and I hope that this visit will be followed by concrete collaboration between the companies of both countries," said Minister Matjaž Han, who also used this opportunity to invite the Korean Minister to Slovenia.

Minister Tanja Fajon and Minister Matjaž Han visited KIA's Research and Development Centre alongside the representatives of Slovenian companies and met with KIA's President and CEO Ho-Sung Song. The trends in automotive industry around the world were the focus of their discussion. Along with representatives of the Slovenian automotive industry, the two officials presented the restructuring process of Slovenian automotive companies, the potential for their integration into Kia Group's supply chains and the efforts to reduce the environmental footprint.