H.E. Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, held bilateral meetings with four South Korean ministers and government officials on the sidelines of the eighth joint economic committee between the two countries, which took place in the Korean capital, Seoul, recently. The meetings focused on the development of trade and investment partnerships between the two countries in the fields of new economy, technology, communications, cyber security, AI, industry, energy, entrepreneurship, and SMEs.
The Minister of Economy confirmed that the UAE and South Korea share solid economic and trade relations today, thanks to the support and forward-looking vision of both leaderships.
H.E. Bin Touq said: “The two countries have promising investment and trade opportunities in many vital economic sectors, which will enable us to build new trade and economic partnerships between the two countries, adding to the number of projects in areas of common interest at both government and private sector levels. This is especially relevant since the UAE plans to pump investments worth USD 30 billion into several activities and economic fields in South Korea over the coming years.”
Supporting SMEs in UAE and Korea
H.E. Bin Touq’s meeting with H.E. Lee Young, South Korean Minister of SMEs and Startups, discussed the latest developments in bilateral relations in the field of entrepreneurship and SMEs. It explored the means to enhance cooperation to create flexible programs that support the growth and expansion of both UAE and Korean SMEs, in addition to facilitating the transfer of knowledge regarding the development of these programs, policies and legislation related to the entrepreneurship sector in both countries.
H.E. Lee Young said: “Our relations with the UAE continue to grow on all fronts, especially in economy and trade. Last June, the South Korean Ministry of SMEs and Startups and the UAE Ministry of Economy jointly hosted the ‘Korean Business Day 2023’ in Dubai. It turned out to be a key milestone in the development of economic and trade relations between the two countries, supporting the exchange of experiences and knowledge in the digital and technological fields and stimulating the business and investment growth of Korean and UAE startups alike.”
“Today’s meeting focused on strengthening bilateral cooperation between the UAE and South Korea through the implementation of joint projects, especially in the small and medium enterprises sector. We will continue the joint efforts to support the growth of trade and investment exchanges,” she added.
Accelerating the implementation of joint projects in new economy sectors
During his meeting with H.E. Li Chang Yang, South Korean Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, H.E. bin Touq discussed mechanisms to boost the trade exchange between both countries. This will include providing more enablers and opportunities for exporters and importers and opening up new channels for communication between investors and companies. Both sides agreed to accelerate the implementation of joint projects in the new economic sectors that contribute to economic progress while also consolidating the strength and durability of bilateral relations.
“The meeting was an ideal opportunity to enhance economic and trade cooperation between the two countries at government and private sector levels. It also contributed to accelerating the implementation of agreements that were signed during President Yoon Suk Yeol’s visit to the UAE in January,” said H.E. Li Chang Yang.
Moreover, H.E. Li Chang Yang emphasized the importance of increasing joint investment opportunities between the two countries in new industries, particularly advanced industrial technologies, space, clean energy and other vital economic sectors. He also highlighted the Korean private sector’s desire to participate in the implementation of major industrial projects in the UAE.
Improving collaboration prospects in air, land and sea transport
H.E. Bin Touq held yet another bilateral meeting with H.E. Won Hee-ryong, Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of South Korea, during which, the two sides discussed the development of cooperation in the field of air transport and enhancing air connectivity between them. Currently, there are nearly 500 flights per month operated by the UAE’s national airlines and Korean Airlines, which operates regular flights to Dubai.
Opportunities for stronger economic and trade cooperation
H.E. Bin Touq also met with H.E. Sung Yoon, Chairman of The Export-Import Bank of Korea, to discuss more opportunities for economic and trade cooperation between the UAE and Korea in various fields of shared interest. The meeting focused on the means to increase mutual investments at the government and private sector levels.
Most significant growth indicators of the UAE economy highlighted
During his meetings with the South Korean ministers, H.E. bin Touq reviewed a number of indicators and results achieved by the UAE economy in 2022. These include the country’s 7.9 per cent GDP growth, non-oil foreign trade totaling AED 2.3 trillion for the first time in the history with a 20 per cent YOY growth, and the issuance of new laws for cooperatives, family businesses, commercial registration and commercial transactions. These economic achievements support the objectives of ‘We the UAE 2031’ vision aimed at strengthening the country’s position as a global partner and an attractive and influential economic hub in line with the goals of the next 50 years.
Furthermore, H.E. bin Touq invited the Korean side to attend and participate in the third Investopia annual conference, which is scheduled to be held from February 28 to 29, 2024 in Dubai. The conference will enable participants to take advantage of the promising investment opportunities in the UAE, a global hub for trade and investment for many of the fastest growing markets, as well as the advantages and possibilities offered by Dubai’s business and investment environment.