Under hot summer temperatures, State Minister Al-Wazir had invited the Korean partners to the Wetterau in order to continue intensifying Hessian-Korean relationships. The Minister greeted his guests saying: "Many Korean companies and banks have their German and European headquarters here with us in Hessen or are represented by branches. After the U.S., Korea is the second largest non-European home market of investment properties in Hessen."
"Korean companies have taken notice of Hessen's strengths and utilized them to open the gate to Europe," added General Consul Prof. Dr. Bumhym BEK, thereby voicing the opinion of many of the attending Korean entrepreneurs. After all, the Korean community in Hessen with its almost 7,000 citizens is Europe's largest." In 1966, Korean exports to Germany amounted to just 7 million dollars, whereas in 2015 that figure rose to 6.2 billion dollars," said Hyeokjong OH, the KOTRA president for Europe as of this year. "Thus, Germany is Korea's most important trade partner in Europe." The fact that Korean companies like the close proximity to numerous international investors at the Hessen location was demonstrated by an investor survey commissioned by Hessen Trade & Invest that the TNS Emnid opinion research institute conducted in 2015. "Nine of ten clearly preferred the state of Hessen over other locations in Germany, 95 percent assessed their business situation as positive, and 67 percent held out the prospect of hiring more German employees in the coming years," emphasized Dr. Rainer Waldschmidt.
Also invited were the general manager of the German-Korean Business Circle Association (DKWK), Dr. Bernhard Schraut, and the representatives of Wirtschaftsförderung Wetterau, Bernd-Uwe Domes and Klaus Karger. "I am proud that you, Mr. Minister, have come to visit the Wetterau with your delegation," stressed Dr. Matthias Leder, who apart from his full-time occupation as managing director of the Gießen-Friedberg Chamber of Industry and Commerce, also represents the Wetterau voluntarily.
Later this year, State Minister Al-Wazir will lead a Hessian business delegation to Korea from November 2 to 5, in order to advertise Hessen as business location over there and to promote Hessian foreign trade. At the end of the evening, a few of the Korean guests expressed interest to accompany him on this trip.
Photo (from left to right):
• Klaus Karger, general manager of Wirtschaftsförderung Wetterau GmbH
• Dr. Rainer Waldschmidt, managing director of Hessen Trade & Invest GmbH
• Prof. Dr. Bumhym BEK, General Consul of Korea
• Dr. Matthias Leder, managing director of the Gießen-Friedberg Chamber of Industry and Commerce
• Bernd-Uwe Domes, general manager of Wirtschaftsförderung Wetterau GmbH
• Hyeokjong OH, KOTRA president for Europe