Thank you Prime Minister. I am glad to see many members of the media.
I am very pleased that the 2nd V4-Korea Summit has been held on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Visegrád Group’s founding. I am deeply grateful to Prime Minister Orbán for having successfully prepared this meeting. My appreciation also goes to Prime Minister Heger of the Slovak Republic, Prime Minister Babis of the Czech Republic and Prime Minister Morawiecki of the Republic of Poland. They all have come with open hearts to seek mutually beneficial paths.
The four countries and Korea share a lot in common. We have achieved democratization and economic development at a fast pace, triumphing over the suffering brought by the Cold War and tribulations throughout history. We are also similar in that we have strengths in science and technology as well as manufacturing.
The V4 and Korea established diplomatic relations in the late 1980s and, ever since then, have opened a path toward peace and harmony together. In 2014, we established a partnership that extends beyond the level of exchanges between individual countries.
The V4, which a rising centre of industrial production in Europe, is Korea’s second largest trading partner and its biggest investment destination in the European Union – more than 650 Korean businesses are operating in the region. Bilateral cooperation is strengthening primarily in such promising future industries as batteries for electric vehicles.
Today, the prime ministers and I pledged to work together more closely.
First, we agreed to expand cooperation in the fields of science and technology. The V4 has excellent capabilities in basic science, and Korea is equipped with unmatched competitiveness in applied science such as information and communication technology. If these strengths are combined, we will be able to take the lead together in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Second, we agreed to strengthen cooperation in the sectors of energy and infrastructure. Korea is actively participating in transportation, energy and digital infrastructure construction projects in the V4. We came to an agreement to further expand what the cooperative projects have achieved so far and create new growth opportunities in the era of carbon neutrality by joining forces to foster the hydrogen economy.
Third, we agreed to expand cultural and people-to-people exchanges. We will work to restore the movements of people across borders, which have been constrained by COVID-19, and further promote exchanges between young people – the main players in future cooperation.
We also discussed a variety of pending global issues. We shared our common understanding that the equitable distribution of vaccines is important for an inclusive recovery. We agreed to harmoniously push the European Green Deal and Korea’s Green New Deal in a bid to lend support for the transition to a low-carbon economy and overcoming of the climate crisis.
Korea supports the efforts to assist the Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership countries by utilizing the International Visegrád Fund. Korea’s contribution to the Fund will also continue. I am grateful to the V4 countries for their consistent interest in and support for the peace process on the Korean Peninsula. Through today’s summit, the two sides reaffirmed our close friendship and promised comprehensive cooperation. I hope that the V4 and Korea will join hands more firmly and move forward together on a path toward common prosperity.