South Korea and the UAE discuss strengthening bilateral economic ties

Seoul, May 28 Business leaders from South Korea and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Tuesday discussed ways to improve economic cooperation and develop business partnerships in new industries such as clean energy and ICT, a major business lobby said.

The Korea-UAE Business Investment Forum, held in Seoul during the state visit of UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, brought together about 200 government officials and business leaders, including South Korean Trade Minister Cheong In-kyo and the Minister of UAE Foreign Affairs. Trade in Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, according to the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).

“Cooperation between our countries has evolved from the development of factories and oil fields to that of a special strategic partnership, exemplified by the Barakah nuclear power plant,” Cheong said in his welcome speech. “We will provide support so that the seeds of cooperation can grow,” he added.

The Barakah nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi, South Korea’s first overseas nuclear project, symbolizes cooperation between the two nations, reports Yonhap news agency.

Since establishing diplomatic ties in 1980, South Korea and the UAE have worked together in various sectors, especially in energy and construction.

Bilateral trade between the countries reached US$20.8 billion in 2023, a significant increase from US$190 million in 1980, making the UAE South Korea’s 14th largest trading partner.

“With the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), signed in October last year, Korea and the UAE are expanding cooperation beyond traditional areas, such as energy and infrastructure, into new industries,” noted Park Il-joon, executive vice chairman of KCCI, op.

During discussion sessions, business leaders discussed ways to improve cooperation in clean energy, ICT, communications, logistics, manufacturing and trade through the CEPA.

The KCCI said the UAE is the only country in the Middle East with a special strategic partnership with South Korea, and expressed hope that the forum would deepen bilateral cooperation and expand exchanges in new industries.

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