The delegation of the Bulgarian Atlantic Club, which was on a week-long official visit in South Korea, has come home with several specific business projects underscoring the special interest of Korean companies in Bulgaria.
The visit of the delegation of the Bulgarian Atlantic Council to South Korea is the first of its kind in the 20-year history of the diplomatic relations between the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Korea.
The delegation consisting of the President of the Atlantic Club in Bulgaria, Solomon Passy, and businessman Maxim Behar, CEO of M3 Communications Group, Inc., the largest Bulgarian PR company, who is an Atlantic Club Board member, visited South Korea at the invitation of the Korean government and the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
In addition to its meetings with high-level political figures such as South Korea's Minister of Unification, Hyun In-taek, and the US Ambassador to South Korea, Kathleen Stephens, Passy and Behar have met with senior representatives of over 20 Korean companies during their formal visit to the Korean Peninsula, which had a clear mission to promote investments and trade between Korea and Bulgaria.
During their meeting with the top management of Hanjin Shipping, a premier global logistics company running terminals in the world's largest ports such as Busan, Long Beach, Tokyo, Kaohsiung, Shanghai, Qingdao, and Port Kelang, the Bulgarian representatives were assured that the major Bulgarian ports – Varna and Burgas on the Black Sea and Ruse on the Danube River – are potential investment contractors of the Hanjin Group. The Hanjin executives have made it clear that the initiative for joint projects is now in the hands of the Bulgarian authorities and business.
The Bulgarian Atlantic Club delegation members have invited representatives of CyberLogitec, a Korean IT giant, to pay a visit to Bulgaria to study the investment opportunities it has to offer. The exploratory mission by CyberLogitec harbors huge potential for Bulgarian-Korean business and economic cooperation as CyberLogitec is currently researching opportunities for settiung up a large information center in Southern Europe.
If Bulgaria is selected by the CyberLogitec management for this investment, it stands to benefit not just from the creation of hundreds of hi-tech jobs, but also by becoming a primary world technology hub for the Korean company.
Passy and Behar also met with Hi Ynog-kim, President of the South Korean manufacturer of agricultural equipment TYM, discussing opportunities for the assembly of Korean tractors in Bulgaria as well as for large-scale production of spare parts in Bulgarian factories such as "Madara" near the northeastern city of Shumen. The TYM President has accepted the invitation of the Bulgarian delegates to visit and study opportunities that Bulgaria has to offer in this respect.
During their visits to Busan, Korea's largest industrial center, and the Jeju Island, known as an emblem of Korean-Chinese-Japanese cooperation, Solomon Passy and Maxim Behar met with businesspeople and representatives of the local administrations, and made specific arrangements for visits by Korean business executives and state officials to Bulgaria.
The Bulgarian Atlantic Club leaders also paid a visit to the Jeju Peace Institute and presented their ideas for EU's role in the unification of South and North Korea under the leadership of the institute, which is one of the most influential global cooperation organizations in Northeast Asia.
The Jeju Peace Institute has welcomed the reaction of the Bulgarian Foreign Minister denouncing the actions of the North Korean regime during the recent crises, which heated up the tensions on the Korean Peninsula to levels unseen since the armistice in the Korean War (1953).