Andrei Popkov, Belarus ambassador to the Republic of Korea. Photo courtesy of Belarus Embassy

A rising number of Korean firms show interests in Belarus

Belarus is located some 7,000 kilometers away from Korea. But the two countries share a lot in common, especially their competitive edge in high-tech industries and research.

Andrei Popkov, Belarus ambassador to Seoul, said that the two countries can forge a win-win partnership based on their shared strength in technology-driven businesses.

“Scientific and technological development has become a dominant priority for Belarus. My country is motivated to go on the path of an innovative economy and information society,” Amb. Popkov said in a recent interview ahead of the July 3 Belarus Republic Day.

“These strategic directions of development and increasing interest of business circles in establishing strong ties with Korean companies are decisive for our intent to extend bilateral interactions in scientific, technological, IT, educational, and investment domains.”

The two countries have yet to reach a preferred level in mutual cooperation, but a mounting number of ICT companies in Korea fix their eyes on Belarus, according to the ambassador.

“A number of Korean companies, especially in the ICT sector, express their utmost interest in establishing their presence in Belarus. One of the most successful examples is SK hynix,” he said.

Back in 2014, SK hynix, the world’s second-largest maker of memory chips, acquired the firmware division of Softeq Development FLLC in Belarus to enhance its prowess in the flash memory chip.

Four years later, the company opened an R&D software center at High-Tech Park in Minsk, the capital city of Belarus. The Belarusian lab is SK hynix’s only representative office in Eastern Europe.

Amb. Popkov invited Korean companies to use Belarus as a gateway to the broad Eurasian market.

“Belarus can become an effective bridge between the EAEU and European Union, which in the future will provide an additional synergistic effect from combining the economic potentials of the West and the East of Eurasia,” he said.

“The successful implementation of the Eurasian economic integration stimulates foreign countries to cooperate with Belarus and the EAEU as a whole.”

Short for the Eurasian Economic Union, the EAEU is an economic union of countries in Europe and Central Asia, including Belarus, Russia, and Kazakhstan.

The union has concluded free trade agreements with such countries as Vietnam, Singapore, and Serbia. Its members are examining possible areas of beefing up cooperation with the liberalized legal framework with more than 50 interested countries.

The publisher studied Korean history in Seoul and management of business administration in the United Kingdom. He has 20-year experiences in the media business. Kim can be reached at or 82-2-6956-6698.