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Trade and Investment Cooperation between South Korea and the Visegrad Group
Published July 6, 2023
Publication Source: KIEP
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The Visegrad group (V4) is a political alliance of four countries of Central Europe – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, reaching its roots to the beginning of the 1990s, when the countries started reforming their political and economic systems from centrally planned to democratic free market economies. The coalition – consisting of countries with similar historical experience, transformation challenges and level of socio-economic development – aimed at regional co-operation and mutual support on their strategic goal of full membership in the European Union (EU).

The V4 countries are currently full members of the EU (since 2004) with dynamic and competitive economies. The four countries form a market of over 60 million consumers with a share of ca. 7.7% of the EU’s GDP (Table 1). Over last three decades V4 countries have experienced high economic growth, closing a development gap with highly developed countries of the EU. Their economies have opened up to the global trading system, changing directions (mostly towards other EU countries) and expanding volumes of their international trade. Liberalizing economies have become attractive destinations for FDIs due to their central location at the continent, well-educated society as well as restructuration and privatization of many economic sectors (Mazur, 2009).

Joining the European Union in 2004, V4 countries became part of the European Single Market leading to various consequences for economic policy and business conditions. While membership in the EU brought new economic opportunities and enhanced the countries’ business attractiveness, it has also had relevant consequences for their trade co-operation with third countries. The V4 states adopted all rights and commitments from the EU’s Common Trade Policy and have since been developing their trade and economic co-operation with third countries, including the Republic of Korea, commonly with other EU partners and exclusively at the EU level.

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