Published : 2013-01-06 19:04
Updated : 2013-01-06 19:04
President Lee Myung-bak and Slovak President Ivan Gasparovic exchanged congratulatory messages in celebrating the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations.
Lee remarked positively on the steady development of ties over the past 20 years and expressed gratitude for Slovak support for Seoul’s election as a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, which begins this year, according to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade press release.
The two countries established diplomatic relations in January 1993.
Two-way trade surpassed $4 billion in 2011 and Korean investment in Slovakia was more than $1 billion that year.
Korean automakers looked to Slovakia early on as a manufacturing platform to export cars into Western Europe.
Slovakia has become the Detroit of Europe, with the highest per capita production of cars in the world, including Germany’s Volkswagen, France’s Peugeot Citroen and Korea’s Kia, as well as a legion of parts suppliers.
In addition to $1 billion Korea poured in 2011 through electronics and car factories, Europe is estimated to have invested an additional $1.5 billion that year in expanding production lines.
The president also asked for consistent attention and support for South Korean people and companies operating in Slovakia.
Slovak President Ivan Gasparovic also noted the development of bilateral ties over two decades in his message to Korea marking the 20 years of ties.
He added that South Korea would contribute to the peace and stability of the international community as a Security Council member.