You have taken over the ambassador position here in April. Have you been to Romania before? What are the main expectations and priorities of your term?
This is my first time in Romania, so I haven’t been to your country before. However, I do hope that during my duty here, the relations between our two countries would be strengthened and that new levels of cooperation would be reached. I see our relations, though fundamentally strong, have recently been somewhat slowed down compared to other countries’ relations to Romania. I would like to exert my utmost effort to revitalize our economic relations by bringing many Korean investors into Romania and also raise each other’s profiles through increased cultural exchanges.
How would you describe bilateral ties between the Republic of Korea and Romania on political, economical level? What are the main features of the two countries’ cooperation, bilaterally and internationally?
I believe the ties between Romania and Korea over the last two decades have been solid in almost every area, considering that the bilateral relationship between the two countries has been established only 20 years ago and before 1989 it was virtually nonexistent. However, as in any other aspect of our lives, there is always room for improvement. With the concluding of the Strategic Partnership between Romania and the Republic of Korea in 2008, I am positive that the ties that connect our two countries will strengthen even further. Internationally, our cooperation has always been constructive, so all these things make me optimistic about our future relationship.
Please tell us something about the activity of Korean investors here. In what areas are they active or interested in? What are the main advantages and challenges of the Romanian market from the point of view of investors?
Korean investors are interested in manufacturing areas where they can expand their businesses throughout Europe, but some new fields of interest for them are emerging, such as renewable energy, agriculture, IT, R&D, and construction of infrastructure. They look more attractive and promising in Romania than in other countries.
To answer the second part of your question, I believe that most investors, Korean or not, are put off by an unfavorable and unpredictable business and fiscal environment, so I believe the Romanian market would benefit much more and would attract more foreign investors if these issues would be addressed more rigorously.