Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 23 September 2020

UAE and South Korea forge deals to co-operate in 10 new sectors

Non-oil trade with South Korea, a key importer of hydrocarbons from the Middle East, reached $5bn in 2019

Visitors walk past the UAE pavilion at the 2012 Expo in Yeosu, Korea. South Korea is the UAE’s fifth-largest trading partner from the Asia-Pacific region. AP
Visitors walk past the UAE pavilion at the 2012 Expo in Yeosu, Korea. South Korea is the UAE’s fifth-largest trading partner from the Asia-Pacific region. AP

The UAE and South Korea signed agreements to co-operate in ten new sectors including science, oil and gas and infrastructure over the next two years.

Non-oil trade with South Korea, a key importer of hydrocarbons from the Middle East, reached $5 billion (Dh18.3bn) in 2019.

Both countries will explore joint investments in small and medium-sized enterprises, communication, information technology, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, 5G technology, smart agriculture, green economy, energy, including renewables, science and innovation, education, tourism, financial services and transportation.

The UAE is keen "to establish frameworks for cooperation in the fields of technology to benefit from the world-leading Korean experience,” said economy minister Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri. He was speaking at the seventh UAE-South Korea Joint Economic Committee, which was held virtually.

“We are focusing on the advanced technology sectors in particular, so that the UAE and Korean economies can progress and work together through joint investment in the fields of innovation, research and development, to reach the commercial production in the sectors of the new economy,” he added.

The UAE established bilateral diplomatic ties with South Korea in 1980. The country is the UAE’s fifth-largest trading partner from the Asia-Pacific region, behind much larger economies such as China, India and Japan. South Korean technology is instrumental in the development of the UAE’s Barakah Nuclear Power Plant, which is the first in the region.

The countries said they will look to open up “new channels for cooperation” in the health sector, particularly in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The UAE’s economy ministry will also co-operate at the government and private sector levels to help support entrepreneurship and SMEs.

Both sides will also look to develop "sustainable partnerships" in more fields including energy, renewable energy, food security, aviation, tourism, intellectual property, education, and financial services, Mr Al Marri said .

The UAE is now home to about half of all South Korean expats in the Gulf, with about 13,000 residing in the country, according to the consulate general. By 2018, some 180,000 South Koreans were visiting or transiting the UAE as tourists, an increase of almost 30 per cent over the previous year.

“This year, very close cooperation between both countries in dealing with Covid-19 has once again proven the value of our outstanding strategic partnership," said South Korean deputy prime minister and minister for economy, Nam-Ki Hong.

Updated: September 8, 2020 09:05 PM

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