The Hungarian Prime Minister highlighted that five success stories met here in Budapest. The economies of Central Europe, too, have “fine years” behind them, and have great prospects for the future. At the same time, South Korea is in the category of world champions as regards growth and technological development.
He said in the past five years trade between the Visegrád countries and Korea has increased by 40 per cent, it further increased even last year – “a black year” in the history of the world economy – and has reached USD 20 billion for the first time in history.
He pointed out that Korea has a GDP of USD 1,600 billion, while the total combined GDP of the V4 amounts to USD 1,100 billion. “If we were a single country, then the V4, the same as Korea, could be members of the G20,” Mr Orbán stressed. In his words, this clearly shows that South Korea and the V4 have an outlook on the world economy from a similar dimension.
He highlighted that the reason for the timing of the meeting is that they all felt that a new world economic era is about to begin; there is fierce competition in the world for the redistribution of production capacities as the capacities closed down due to the pandemic will not necessarily be re-opened where they were operated earlier.
Most of them keep moving, looking for new places, and “we the countries of the V4 have enrolled in this competition, we would like to attract as big a share of the world’s investments to the territory of the Visegrád Four as possible,” he stated, adding that South Korea is known for being a leading state in innovation, and the V4, too, would like to turn this change of era in the world economy to their advantage.
Mr Orbán said at the meeting they asked the Korean President to keep track of the largest joint economic venture of the V4, the construction of the V4 express railway line. He indicated that this is a railway track project of the total length of 800 kilometres; they are seeking to connect together four capitals with an express railway service, and want to reduce the current travel time of 12 hours to 5 hours. It is to be hoped, he said, that this project will also arouse the interest of Korean industry.
He also said they expect that as a result of today’s meeting, cooperation between South Korea and the V4 will extend to the areas of science and technology as well, in addition to the economy.
The Hungarian Prime Minister highlighted that it is a privilege and honour for the V4 to have received the Korean President. He said this is especially so for the Hungarian people because “we regard each other as kin nations”. He recalled that Hungary had established diplomatic relations with Korea, a kingdom at the time, in 1892. The fact that they had the honour of welcoming a president who himself fought for freedom and democracy lent the meeting a special atmosphere, he added, indicating that at the meeting the parties also discussed global issues, questions related to climate policy, the situation in Afghanistan and its consequences.