Opening the meeting, the Head of the PFG with the Republic of Korea Ivana Popovic informed the Ambassador that the current legislature’s PFG with the Republic of Korea consists of 18 MPs which is the highest number to date.
She opined that the relations between the two countries are good and friendly and have in recent years been characterised by intensification of high-level political dialogue.
Speaking about economic cooperation, she emphasised that Serbia is especially interested in further arrival of Korean investors in Serbia, adding that there is significant potential to increase the export of food and agricultural products from Serbia to Korea.
She mentioned that the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency - KOTRA had opened a representative office in Belgrade in December 2015. YURA corporation, which has so far opened four factories in Serbia and is employing about 7,000 people, as well as "LS Group" are among the most significant Korean investments in Serbia. In May 2020 in Smederevska Palanka, the cornerstone was laid for the construction of Kyungshin Cable production plant for the production of parts for traditional cars, as well as components for electric batteries for high-tech cars, said Popovic.
Popovic thanked the Republic of Korea for the donations, now amounting to around one million EURs, especially the ones for the development of e-government. She reminded the attending of the floods that hit Serbia in 2014, when the Republic of Korea provided humanitarian aid and donations in the amount of 100 thousand USD. She also mentioned the donations to the Institute of Public Health Dr Milan Jovanovic Batut, as well as for the opportunity to procure the necessary medical equipment and materials for the needs of our country in times of crisis.
The Head of the PFG with the Republic of Korea said that 2019 marked the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Serbia and Korea, adding that the only issue that puts strain on the relations between the two countries is Korea’s recognition of the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo. But it is encouraging that Korea has not established diplomatic relations with the so-called In Kosovo, Popovic underlined.
She said that Serbia is committed to its European path, reforms and cooperation with European Union institutions and provides full support and contribution to all projects implemented by the EU both in Serbia and in the Western Balkan region.
Korean Ambassador to Serbia Choe Hyoung-chan thanked the hosts for organising the meeting, stating that the previous 30 years of diplomatic relations have brought fruitful economic and cultural cooperation. The Korean Ambassador stressed that Korea highly appreciates Serbia’s help in returning Korean citizens to Seoul during the pandemic by "Air Serbia".
Speaking of parliamentary cooperation, Ambassador Choe stressed that it has intensified in recent years, adding that former Parliament Speaker Maja Gojkovic had visited the Korean Parliament, as well as the Korean Parliament Speaker visiting Serbia during the 141st Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
Ambassador Choe reminded his hosts that the Korean government had sent 300,000 USD worth of humanitarian aid to Serbia to help the country respond to the pandemic. He also informed them that the Korean Government is cooperating with Serbia by sharing its knowledge and experience, especially in the field of e-Government and digitalisation.
Members of the PFG with the Republic of Korea, Lav-Grigorije Pajkic, Vuk Mircetic, Nebojsa Pavlovic and Luka Kebara also took part in the meeting.
Nebojsa Pavlovic spoke about the substantial Korean investment in Smederevska Palanka, municipality he hails from, adding that in May 2020, the cornerstone was laid for the construction of Kyungshin Cable production plant, which will employ about 700 workers.
Lav-Grigorije Pajkic spoke about the Korean film industry, interested in the possibility of Serbian film art students studying in Korea.
Vuk Mircetic pointed out the potential for developing academic cooperation, in terms of writing scientific papers and organising joint international scientific conferences.
Luka Kebara also spoke about the development of cooperation in the field of science and technology, since Korea is one of the most developed countries in the world in terms of scientific achievements whose experience would be invaluable to us.
After the MPs’ address, the Korean Ambassador concluded that the two countries have a lot of similarities, especially in the field of education and academic cooperation.
At the end of the meeting, the officials agreed that there is mutual interest in improving cooperation in the field of tourism, military industry, culture, education, science and technology, and that our two countries are determined to work closely in all fields regardless of their geographical distance.