South Korean President Moon Jae-in to visit Hungary

South Korean President Moon Jae-in will meet with his Hungarian counterpart Janos Ader today as part of a nine-day European

Korea

Photo: AFP

South Korean President Moon Jae-in will meet with his Hungarian counterpart Janos Ader today as part of a nine-day European tour.

Moon’s Budapest visit coincides with a meeting of the Visegrad Group, which includes Hungary, Czechia, Poland and Slovakia. During the summit, Moon will discuss business partnerships in areas including electric cars and batteries.

South Korean chemical firms have steadily expanded their footprints in Central Europe. In October, LG Chem Ltd. announced that it will build a new battery separator production plant in Hungary, joining the firm’s existing facility in western Poland. South Korea’s growing economic interest in Eastern Europe comes as countries like Hungary and Czechia navigate increasingly complicated and tense relationships with China.

Expect Moon’s visit to pave the way for closer economic ties between South Korea and Visegrad Group member states, especially as South Korea grows its dominance of the global battery supply chain. The Visegrad Group will likely welcome Korean foreign direct investment as they seek to strengthen their economies following the pandemic. While increased ties with South Korea are unlikely to provoke a Chinese reaction in the short-term, Beijing may counter with economic initiatives of its own should Korea gain too much regional influence in the long-term.

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