VLADIVOSTOK (Sputnik) — South Korean enterprises positively asses the Russian market’s potential and are prepared to increase investments, Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) President Jaehong Kim told Sputnik.
"Many Korean businessmen see the huge potential of the Russian market and are ready to increase their investments. There are a lot of resources [in Russia], professional human resources, proximity to the European market, and moreover, the government is developing relations with Eastern countries," Kim said on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in the city of Vladivostok.
"The majority of the Korean companies are interested in entering the European market. Korean business is interested in infrastructure projects in Russia that could help to enter this market, but for that, large investments and bank support are needed. Korean construction companies hope that the situation with the anti-Russian sanctions will change and they will be able to take loans from banks for such projects," the KOTRA head added.
Moreover, Jaehong Kim added that he expected more than 200 South Korean companies to take part in INNOPROM-2018, an international industrial exhibition in Russia’s Yekaterinburg.
“Next year, the Republic of Korea will be Russia’s partner in the INNOPROM exhibition. We expect that more than 200 Korean companies will take part in the event. Giants such as Hyundai will take part, aside from small and medium-sized businesses,” he said.
"Companies expect to receive profit, but many reach the conclusion that this would be impossible in the short-term. Therefore, they ask the government for financial help. However, the US anti-Russia sanctions affected especially the banking sector. Private Korean companies and banks are reluctant to give loans to such projects. Companies in turn are reluctant to give their own funds to the projects … Maybe our governments should create a special fund to finance projects in the Far East," Kim said.
The two-day EEF started in Vladivostok on Wednesday, gathering over 3,500 participants from more than 50 countries. A number of world leaders are attending the forum, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in, as well as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency is the general media partner of the forum.