A toast and a ribbon cutting - this is how the Polish representative office of the Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) was officially opened in Wroclaw on Tuesday, May 16. The ceremony was held at Topacz Castle, but the IBK bank is located in the Sky Tower in Wroclaw.
Participants included: Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Poland, authorities of the Industrial Bank of Korea, representatives of - the Polish government, the Polish Investment and Trade Agency, local authorities of Wroclaw and the region, and Polish-Korean organizations.
Korea sets its sights on Wroclaw! The Sky Tower is home to the powerful Industrial Bank of Korea.
The opening of the Industrial Bank of Korea in Wroclaw is one of the most important events in Polish-Korean relations this year, and preparations for this investment had been underway since 2016.
Poland and Korea, despite the distance separating us, are extremely important partners for each other. Despite the global economic crisis, trade between Korea and Poland is growing rapidly. It amounted to about $8.95 billion in 2022, the largest record to date.
Hoonmin Lim, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Poland
Why did the Industrial Bank of Korea choose Wroclaw?
Industrial Bank of Korea chose Wroclaw because, as the Koreans point out, the city is the largest industrial and logistics center in southern Poland. It is important for Industrial Bank of Korea that Wroclaw is a new hub for electric vehicle battery production in Europe, and Korean companies such as LG Energy Solution and SK Innovation are here.
Wroclaw is where the largest Korean companies are investing, but along with them our small and medium-sized companies are investing here, and this is one of the most important reasons why we chose Wroclaw. The city's location in the center of Europe was also important to us, as this means great potential for further development.
Kim Seong-Tae president and director of IBK
Jakub Mazur, vice mayor of Wroclaw, stresses that the opening of the Industrial Bank of Korea in Wroclaw is no coincidence. Wroclaw has three decades of experience with Korean investments.
Wroclaw has partner cities in Korea and relationships with more than forty Korean companies that are expanding in our city, and several thousand Koreans live and work in the Wroclaw metropolitan area. The opening of the Industrial Bank of Korea is particularly gratifying, as they specialize in serving small and medium-sized businesses. We hope that Wroclaw and Lower Silesian companies will benefit from it. The fact that the Industrial Bank of Korea will be in the Sky Tower, the tallest building in Wroclaw, is symbolic. I hope that their ambitions, goals and successes will also be as high.
Jakub Mazur, Deputy Mayor of Wroclaw
What does the Industrial Bank of Korea do?
IBK specializes in serving small and medium-sized Korean companies in their entry into European markets - but Kim Seong-Tae stresses that the bank will also work with Polish entrepreneurs.
- The history of our bank dates back sixty years. Internationally, we are a unique bank because we specialize in financial services for small and medium-sized companies. We help them grow and develop with them. We will want to direct our services to Polish entrepreneurs as well," adds Kim Seong-Tae president and director of IBK.
Wroclaw on the list of the largest Korean investments in Europe
Wroclaw and the Wroclaw agglomeration have had strong business ties with South Korea for years through LG Energy Solution Wroclaw's investments. Recall that on April 13 this year, a partnership agreement between Wroclaw and Cheongju was signed. The LG Energy Solution Wroclaw concern originates from this city.
Every year, batteries for about 700,000 electric cars leave the LG Energy Solution factory near Wroclaw. All indications are that soon there will be as many as one million a year.
Korean banks in Wroclaw: Industrial Bank of Korea and Shinhan Bank Europe GmbH
Industrial Bank of Korea is another Korean bank that is investing in Wroclaw. Shinhan Bank Europe GmbH is operating in the Raclawicka Center office building on Skarbowcow Street; this is the third European branch of the bank after London and Frankfurt.