Minister of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport Won Hee-ryong announces at the Korea-Ukraine Reconstruction Cooperation Forum 2023. [Courtesy of Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport]
A delegation of high-ranking South Korean government officials and leading business executives formed a reconstruction team that made its inaugural visit to Ukraine. Led by Minister of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport, Won Hee-ryong, the team expressed its determination to contribute to Ukraine’s reconstruction during a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the capital city of Kyiv on Wednesday.
This visit is significant as it is the first time that Korean businesses with the capacity to actively participate in future reconstruction projects have flocked to Ukraine since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
According to the ministry, the joint public-private Reconstruction Cooperation Team visited Kyiv from September 13 to 14. The delegation included representatives from government bodies, including the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport, the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, as well as public enterprises such as the Korea Land and Housing Corporation (LH), the Korea Water Resources Corporation, the Korea Railroad Corporation, the Korea Airports Corporation, the Korea Overseas Infrastructure and Urban Development Corporation (KIND), and the Korea Environmental Industry and Technology Institute.
Private sector participants included major corporations such as Samsung C&T Corp., Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co., HD Hyundai Construction Equipment, Hyundai Rotem Co., Naver Corp., Yooshin Engineering Corporation, Hanwha Solutions, Hanwha Corporation/E&C, KT Corporation, CJ Logistics Corp., POSCO International Corp., and the International Contractors Association of Korea.
A spokesperson from the land ministry explained that the companies in the reconstruction team were carefully selected based on their ability to execute reconstruction projects that Ukraine requires and is interested in.
To ensure the delegation members’ safety amid the ongoing war and security concerns, the number of visitors was limited to one person per company. To maintain security and confidentiality, the Korean government decided to keep the details of the visit under wraps until the team completes its local itinerary in Ukraine and moves on to neighboring Poland.
The team visit comes just two months after Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s visit to Ukraine in July. During that visit, a joint statement for peace and solidarity in Ukraine was announced, indicating substantial follow-up measures would follow.
Zelensky personally met with the delegation and proposed cooperation in various sectors, including high-speed railways, water resources, energy, defense, and manufacturing industries.
The Ukrainian president expressed his gratitude for Yoon’s announcement of a $2.3 billion aid plan for Ukraine during the recent G20 Summit.
The Korean government plans to provide Ukraine with $300 million in free aid next year and to offer $2 billion through the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) as a long-term loan starting from 2025.
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