On Wednesday, September 7, the Hessen-Korea Business Reception took place at the Saalburg Roman fort.
In the historic ambience of the castle, which has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005, representatives of the Korean business community in Hessen and from the Hessen Business Development Network came together for a reception with Minister of Economic Affairs Tarek Al-Wazir.
The event began with demonstrations of the life of legionnaires in the historic Saalburg castle and ended with a gladiator show as the evening drew to a close.
In his welcoming speech, the Minister emphasized the close ties between the Republic of Korea and the State of Hessen and highlighted the cooperation agreements between Hessen Trade & Invest and the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) and the Korea SMEs and Startups Agency (KSOME). Al-Wazir also emphasized the importance to the local economy of the more than 450 Korean companies located in Hessen, especially in terms of employment and innovation.
The Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Frankfurt, Kyungsok Koh, underlined the importance of Hessen for Korean companies as a ‘springboard to Europe’, as many Korean companies use Hessen as a central location to coordinate their activities in the European markets. He also referred to the great potential for collaboration between Korean and Hessen companies and research institutions, such as in artificial intelligence, e-mobility and biotechnology.
Dae-Ryong Ha, Chair of the Korea Economy & Business Association in Germany (KOEBAG), noted the Latin proverb ‘omnes viae Romam ducunt’ (all roads lead to Rome). Referring to Hessen as the center of the Korean business community in Germany and Europe, he modified the proverb to: “For Korean companies, all roads lead to Hessen”.
Dr. Rainer Waldschmidt, Managing Director of Hessen Trade & Invest GmbH, also drew connections between antiquity and the present. The Roman border wall known as the Limes, where the Saalburg Roman fort was located, was not only a dividing element between the Roman Empire and free Germania, but also a place of lively exchange of information, goods, and ideas – and Hessen is still a place of technology transfer with other countries today.
The next event for companies from Hessen and Korea is already planned for November. The focus will be on the future-focused topics of transformation technologies, renewable energy, transport planning, and smart cities. We will announce further details of the event shortly.