The Koreans from EOST want to build an assembly line in Romania

George Marinescu
English Section / 23 mai

The Koreans from EOST want to build an assembly line in Romania

Versiunea în limba română

BSDA 2024 represented the occasion of a landing in Bucharest of Korean companies from the defense industry who want to collaborate with companies from our country to create assembly lines for military equipment that economic agents from the Far East produce in their own country and sell on the whole globe. Among the large companies, such as Hanwha or Hyundai, which brought self-propelled howitzers or tanks to BSDA, there are also medium-sized Korean companies, such as EO System (EOST), established in 1973, which specialized in the field of electro- optics intended for military equipment and technique, its products being delivered to several countries of the world.

Mario Lee, senior manager for international affairs within the South Korean company EO System (EOST), responsible for the Polish market and the Romanian market, provided some details for the readers of the BURSA newspaper about his company's offer within BSDA 2024: "Our company operates in field of military optical equipment. That's why we have a wide range of products, from cameras that are placed on drones, to night-vision cameras on soldiers' helmets - night monocular scope or the high-performance Raptor 16 M, 16B or F - and to optical systems on some types of weapons or combat equipment. Our optical systems that provide perfect visibility at night, but also in spaces or rooms without light, can be found in countries all over the world. Our company has sold over 72,000 such systems. Our products are used not only by Korean armed forces, but also by armed forces in the Middle East and Europe. If until recently, our activity was dominated by research, now we focus on the delivery of such equipment to the states that request it for their armed forces, and we believe that we can offer these high-performance products to our partners in Romania. We are thinking of building an assembly line for this equipment in Romania".

Given that in recent years several companies from South Korea have expressed their clear intention to invest in the defense industry in Romania and taking into account the great cultural differences between the companies in the two countries, we wanted to know what attracts Korean entrepreneurs to our country.

Mario Lee told us: "First of all, the desire expressed by the leaders of the Romanian Army to benefit from such high-performance systems, following the war in Ukraine. After this war broke out, the Ministry of National Defense of Romania, the government in Bucharest started an extensive modernization process and is looking for the most developed optical systems for military equipment. Korean companies are recognized for respecting product delivery deadlines, and even have much shorter deadlines compared to Western companies in the defense industry (ed. - Koreans deliver within a maximum of 2 years and 6 months from the conclusion of the contract, unlike 4-5 years compared to Western defense industry companies), and our products are of high quality, proven by tens of thousands of optical systems sold worldwide. There is a request expressed by the Romanian side, that is why we are here, and we will work together with the local defense industry companies. Practically, Romania is a gateway to Eastern and South-Eastern Europe for Korean military products".

Because the representative of the South Korean company EOST is responsible for the Polish and Romanian markets, in light of the fact that the defense industry in Poland is more developed than that in our country, the fact that the respective company wants to enter the Romanian market may raise questions. not only by delivering products, but also by assembling them locally.

Mario Lee clarified any mystery: "Poland has recently been looking to develop in the area of intelligence and artificial intelligence, and that is why it is easier in Romania to find partners who have the necessary capabilities to assemble our products here. Poland has the necessary infrastructure, analysis and expertise for electro-optical systems to make its own devices, and is therefore interested in increasing its production localization rate, which is already at 40-50%. We want to help Romania, because the localization rate of production is very low, being between 3 and 10%".

He concluded by noting that companies from our country are waiting these days at BSDA who want to enter into this win-win partnership, according to the representative of the EOST company.