x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

UAE signs bilateral deal with Korea

The Abu Dhabi Investment Company signs a deal with two arms of the South Korean government to promote investment.

The Abu Dhabi Investment Company (ADIC) has signed a deal with two arms of the South Korean government to promote increased investment between the two countries. The agreement with the Korea Development Bank and the Korea Trade Promotion Agency, signed last Friday on a visit by business leaders from the UAE to South Korea, opens opportunities for "cross-border mergers and acquisitions, and private equity, infrastructure and portfolio equity investment", according to a statement.

Nazem al Kudsi, the chief executive of ADIC, the Government's investment and asset management company, said: "The Middle East should not just be regarded as a source of capital but also as an investment destination." The agreement is evidence of a push by government officials on both sides to expand business ties to sectors beyond energy and construction, which have historically defined the relationship between the two countries.

South Korea imported goods, mostly oil and oil products, worth about US$20 billion (Dh73.44bn) from the UAE last year, while the UAE imported cars, electronics and contracting services worth about $5bn from South Korea, according to estimates by the South Korean embassy. The UAE is South Korea's second-largest supplier of oil. South Korean engineering firms have been awarded projects worth billions of dollars from the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, while a consortium of South Korean firms is one of three bidders shortlisted for a contract to build nuclear reactors in the UAE. The contract is due to be awarded in September.