South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Ban Ki-moon said on April 12 he hoped to see stronger economic ties and further investments in Slovakia, where Hyundai subsidiary, Kia, and Samsung are already implanted.
"I am very happy to see increased trade relations as well as investments by many big companies like Hyundai/Kia and Samsung and many others," he said during a joint news conference with Slovak Foreign Minister Eduard Kukan. "While I expect that the number of investments and the opportunities for bigger cooperation will grow, it would also be necessary for the Slovak government to create favorable conditions for more investment," he added.
Kia's first European factory is currently under construction at Zilina, in the north of Slovakia. It is due to start production at the end of the year with an annual capacity of 200,000 vehicles, a total that could rise to 300,000. Kia is investing up to one billion euros (US$1.21 billion) in the plant.
Kia's arrival in Slovakia, a member of the EU since 2004, has prompted a wave of South Korean sub contractors to follow in its wake.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006