South Korean President reaffirms commitment to boost ties with UAE.

South Korea is committed to expanding cooperation with the UAE in new sectors as both countries push ahead with strategic plans to further develop their economies, President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, told government and business leaders at the UAE-Korea Business Forum today in Dubai.

Speaking at the forum, which will run until tomorrow, President Jae-in emphasised the historic and cultural ties that the UAE and South Korea share, and highlighted the important role that South Korean companies have played in the UAE’s development over the years. He identified clean energy as a key area where both governments can boost collaboration and explore new opportunities.

He explained that both the UAE and South Korean governments have adopted proactive strategies to prepare for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and invested in space development as well as Information and Communications Technology, ICT. President JAE-IN added that the UAE has gone one step further by appointing a Minister of Artificial Intelligence, explaining that these strategic moves will further advance both economies in the future.

The high-profile forum, organised by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in cooperation with the Korean International Trade Association, shed light on UAE-South Korea economic ties and synergies, and explored the potential of both countries to enhance their cooperation beyond energy and construction to other sectors such as technology, security, infrastructure, healthcare, innovation, and smart solutions.

During his welcome remarks, Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chamber, explained that the UAE and Korea share many synergies as economies geared toward trade and foreign direct investment. He noted that both countries have placed a key focus on expanding infrastructure, fostering innovation, and improving ease of doing business, adding that these similarities and strengths have enabled their unique relationship to evolve and thrive over the years.

Al Ghurair revealed that Dubai’s non-oil trade with South Korea has increased steadily in recent years, reaching US$7.5 billion in 2017, accounting for a majority of the UAE’s non-oil trade with the Asian country. The number of South Korean companies registered with Dubai Chamber exceeds 170 today.

“Dubai is well-positioned to serve as a strategic gateway for Korean companies that are keen to expand their global footprint and access markets across the Middle East, Africa and Europe,” he said. The chamber remains committed to providing all necessary support and resources to ensure that Korea-UAE relations continue to flourish in the future.

For his part, Hamad Buamim, President and CEO of Dubai Chamber, shed light on synergies shared by the UAE and Korea. He noted that there is huge potential to explore bilateral business opportunities in the areas of ICT, cloud computing, Internet of Things, healthcare and life sciences, and establish new joint ventures focusing on ship production, multi-modal logistics, construction and renewable energy.

Buamim emphasised Dubai’s position as a re-export hub for the GCC region and said that South Korea is a major source market for electric and electronic products and machinery that are re-exported through the emirate to key markets in the region such as Saudi Arabia.

For his part, Dr. Young-Ju Kim, Chairman of Korean International Trade Association, elaborated on the strength of South Korea’s manufacturing and ICT sectors and explained that the Asian country’s expertise in these areas can complement its relationship with the UAE. He said that the UAE boasts strong financial capabilities and identified this sector as a key area where the two countries can build on existing synergies.

Dr. Joo Dong-joo, Research Fellow at the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade, said that the two countries share many similarities as economies have witnessed remarkable economic growth and development in recent decades, which has been supported by the forward-looking and progressive vision of their respective governments. He identified Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, big data, and drones as key areas where the two countries could cooperate in the future.

The forum was attended by a high-level South Korean delegation led by President Jae-in, as well as a number of ministers, senior government officials, and top executives from some of the country’s leading businesses.

High-level attendees representing the UAE included H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chief Executive of Emirates Group; Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy; Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Industry; Abdulla Saif Al Nuaimi, UAE Ambassador to South Korea; Raja Al Gurg, President of the Dubai Business Women Council, and Aisha bin Bishr, Director-General of Smart Dubai Office, in addition to several key stakeholders from the UAE’s public and private sectors.

Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs