At the opening of the V4-Korea Business Forum, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that relations between Hungary and South Korea will be raised to a strategic level and extended beyond the economic sphere to include science, research and education.
PM Orbán said that Hungary was bankrupt in 2010, and his first request to the strategic advisors after winning the election was to take a look at successful countries such as Singapore, South Korea, the Czech Republic and Poland.
In the case of South Korea, it was noted that tradition and technology must be combined. “Family is not just important, family is everything, and until we have strong families, we will not have a strong economy,” Orbán said.
The PM also pointed out that Hungary needs to create a work-based economy where people are constantly learning.
For Hungarians, South Korea is a mystery. Just 50 years ago, it was one of the poorest countries in the world and today produces the world’s 12th largest GDP, he said.
The prime minister said that the pace of change in the world economy is being dictated from the East, adding that per one international indicator measuring how many sources and types of industries make up a country’s GDP, both Hungary and South Korea are in the top 10. This shows that a V4 economy can offer a very wide range of opportunities, he pointed out.
In terms of economic relations between Hungary and Korea, trade volumes have increased tenfold in the past 10 years, reached a record high during the pandemic, and will exceed last year’s volumes this year, PM Orbán said.
South Koreans make up the fourth-largest investor community in Hungary. In 2019, the largest number of investments in Hungary did not come from a Western country but from South Korea. Currently, South Korean corporate investments worth USD 4 billion are underway in Hungary, and negotiations are taking place for 16 more, he added.
Viktor Orbán also pointed out that Hungary supports digitalization, the green economy, tax cuts, and more open trade policies, but does not support protectionist ideas and tax increases.