South Korea and Austria celebrate 130 years of trade ties on Thursday,
Bilateral trade relations stretch back to 1892 during Korea's Joseon Dynasty and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Though the two monarchies were divided and ceased to exist in the post-war era,.. new diplomatic ties were established between South Korea and Austria in 1963, and a trade treaty was signed 8 years later.
Since then, bilateral trade has been growing steadily,.. turning into a strategic partnership just last year.
Today, we discuss this historic milestone,.. and what lies ahead for the two countries, particularly during this time where the world has suffered years of sluggish growth, rising protectionism, topped with geopolitical conflict, supply chain disturbances and the COVID-19 pandemic.
For this, we have in the studio Wolfgang Kostinger, Austrian Trade Commissioner & Commercial Counsellor at ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA Seoul
1. The relationship between Seoul and Vienna has its origins in the late 19th century when the Austro-Hungarian Empire concluded a treaty establishing relations with the Kingdom of Joseon. What is the status of the two countries' trade relations in 2022? In which sectors have there been significant growth in recent years?
2. (Briefly) Which Austrian firms and brands are in Korea?
3. You have over 100 offices in more than 70 countries. What makes the South Korean market attractive for Austrian businesses?
4. What are some innovative Austrian technologies or B2B solutions that South Korean businesses could adopt, amid their efforts to become more sustainable and move towards carbon neutrality?
5. In February 2019, Seoul and Vienna signed a new agreement on science and technology-related exchanges. Where do you see the biggest potential for synergy in joint research?
6. In both countries the health of small and medium sized enterprises is vital to their local economies. What benefits does your Go Seoul programme offer, and what are you looking forward to seeing in this year's line-up?
7. Currently, trade between the two countries is rather tech-heavy. Do you see growth potential for cultural content and exchanges between the two sides?
8. There have been various milestones in S. Korea-Austria trade ties but in order to drive the relationship forward, what are key projects or goals you will be pursuing as trade commissioner?
Wolfgang Kostinger, Austrian Trade Commissioner & Commercial Counsellor at ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA Seoul. Thank you for your time.