Romania grants a special consideration to the Strategic Partnership with the Republic of Korea, established at the highest level, on the occasion of the official visit made by Romania’s President to Seoul, in September 2008.
The action plan to apply Strategic Partnership, signed in June 2010, in Seoul, by the Foreign Affairs Ministers of both countries, shall be applied in new bilateral cooperation projects.
The last session of the Joint Committee for Industrial Cooperation (held in Bucharest, in January 2014), benefited of impressive attendance, and the Romanian side considers that this instrument of dialogue contributes genuinely to the accomplishment of the objective to develop bilateral economical and commercial relations. During the Joint Committee session, a Memorandum was signed, mentioning the common interest development directions, such as economy, trade, energy, communications and informational society.
In Romania, there are 216 active commercial companies based on South-Korean capital. The total figure of South-Korean investments in Romania, on February 28, 2014, reached USD 158 million, which puts South-Korea on the 25th place in the chart of foreign investors in commercial companies located in Romania (data supplied by ONRC.)
Worth-mentioning are the investments made by the Daewoo group in the shipbuilding industry, as the joint company Daewoo Mangalia Heavy Industries, a producer of sea transportation ships, between the Building Site 1 Mai Mangalia (49 per cent of the shares) and Daewoo Heavy Industries (51 per cent of the shares), with a social capital of RON 306.1 billion and USD 52.98 million.
The modernization of the telecommunications systems in the counties Prahova, Buzau and Alba, based on contracts between the RA Romtelecom and LG Information and Communication, and of loans granted by the Government of the Republic of Korea, of approximately USD 100 million.
In addition, it should be mentioned Doosan that took over in June 2006 Kvaerner/IMGB and Samsung that took over Otel Inox Targoviste, and lately, in 2012-2013, the investments made by the group Hyosung in Sighisoara (at the airbag factory).
On July 1, 2011, the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) of the EU with South-Korea came into force, establishing a new stage in the history of bilateral relations. Romania sealed the FTA on July 31, 2012, by Law No. 100. It is the first complete agreement in a new generation of FTAs launched by the EU after 2007. Also, it is the first FTA signed by the EU with an Asian country.
This Free Trade Agreement:
-Eliminates tax barriers for industrial and agricultural products, gradually. There are but a few agricultural products that represent exceptions to tax cuts.
-Also stipulates the elimination of non-tax barriers in bilateral free trade.
-Includes specifications referring to services and investment, competition, public acquisitions.
-Grants transparency in regulating sustainable development.
The impact of the FTA:
-The total volume of bilateral trade of Romania and the Republic of Korea stabilized at 1 billion in the same period.
-The trade balance between Romania and the Republic of Korea is even.
-The exports of the EU and of Romania were stimulated by the application of the FTA.
Under these circumstances, Romanian exports in the Republic of Korea have increased substantially:
-USD 284.70 million in 2010;
-USD 344.03 million in 2011;
-USD 482.02 million in 2012;
-USD 610 million in 2013.
A positive evolution of bilateral commercial changes is to be noted, but the Romanian side considers that the value of Romanian exports is still lower than the potential provided by the South-Korean market and intends to increase and diversity the offer of Romanian products for the Republic of Korea.
The Free Trade Agreement of the European Union and the Republic of Korea came into effect at a highly adequate moment for the evolution of Romanian – South-Korean bilateral exchanges and may contribute decisively to the accomplishment of our export targets on this market.
In the year 2014, Romania attended for the first time a fair organized in Seoul, in the Republic of Korea, with a National Pavilion.
This attendance was facilitated by the efforts made by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Romania – Republic of Korea (CCRC) and by APEV (The Association of Wine Producers and Exporters) in partnership with Korea Business Center-KOTRA Bucharest.
Seoul Food-Kintex is the third greatest fair of this industry in Asia, with a tradition of 30 years, that proves its reputation and represents an exhibition landmark, as it includes over 1,450 exhibitors and 47,000 visitors of almost 50 countries.
The attendance with a National Romanian Pavilion to this event granted an excellent exposure to Romanian producers and exporters, granting them access to the South-Korean food market, estimated at USD 45.7 billion in 2012 and USD 53.5 billion in 2013.
The stand approached a modern, clean line, a simple and refined style, both in its overall design and in its constitutive individual elements, integrated in and developing the concept of general branding – “Wines of Romania, Tradition Redefined”. Based on the idea of “tradition redefined”, the organizers intended to create a new, actual, modern and powerful image, not just of the exhibition space, but of Romanian wines overall.
The organization of a National Pavilion of Romania at the fair empowered the economical relations of Romania and South-Korea, gaining the interest of a highly attractive market section; respectively of the food and beverages industry in this country.
This year, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Romania – Republic of Korea collaborates with KOTRA in order to help Romanian companies attend the Global Mobile Vision 2015 fair, destined to target the ITC section.
Moreover, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Romania – Republic of Korea with the support of the Romanian Embassy to Seoul and of the Commercial Office, have established meetings with the organizers of the Korea World Travel Fair (KOTFA 2015) to facilitate the attendance of Romanian travel agencies to this event, in order to promote the Romanian tourism.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Romania – Republic of Korea will also work actively, jointly with World-OKTA (the international organization of Korean businesspersons), to organize an event at ROMEXPO dedicated to the anniversary of 25 years of diplomatic relations between Romania and the Republic of Korea. At this event, trade companies from Korea will exhibit their products and services. Next year, we will support the project of organizing a National Pavilion of the Republic of Korea at one of the greatest fairs held at ROMEXPO.