The seventh session of the UAE-Korea Joint Economic Committee, which was convened virtually under the chairmanship of His Excellency Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, and His Excellency Namki Hong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance of the Republic of Korea, kicked off the works of His Excellency Dr. Thani Bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and a number of officials and stakeholders from the two countries, as the committee witnessed the agreement to enhance cooperation according to 10 vital and strategic sectors and programs.
The two sides affirmed the strength of the Emirati-Korean relations, which have witnessed a great expansion since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations in 1980 until today, and indicated the need to continue joint work to expand the scope of this strategic partnership to include more sectors and opportunities, in a manner that serves the interests and aspirations of the two countries in development and prosperity.
In addition, the two sides discussed global economic developments in light of the spread of the new Corona virus and its impact on global trade, expressing their satisfaction with the rates of trade exchange between the two countries during the past years.
In this context, the two sides agreed to work closely to enhance their non-oil trade, exchange experiences and knowledge, and enhance access to development opportunities in the two countries’ markets.
Cooperation and joint investment aimed at industrialization and commercial production of the sectors of small and medium enterprises, telecommunications, information technology, artificial intelligence, the Internet of things, fifth generation technology, smart agriculture, green economy, energy, renewable energy, science and innovation in the medical and agricultural sectors, in addition to education, tourism, financial services and transportation were discussed.
The two sides stressed the importance of continuing efforts to open new areas for the private sector in the two countries to establish fruitful and sustainable partnerships. It was also agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding between the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry in the country with the Korean side to activate the cooperation frameworks related to Korea’s participation in the Expo, which is scheduled to be postponed to next year, in compliance with the precautionary measures applied globally as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
For his part, His Excellency Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, said that the bilateral and economic relations between the UAE and Korea are based on a long history of friendship and mutual respect, and include almost all sectors, stressing the UAE’s keenness to develop frameworks for cooperation between the two countries in the fields of technology, by making use of the experience Korea is the world leader in this regard.
His Excellency pointed out the importance of this partnership being reflected in the progress made by both the UAE and Korean economies, while enhancing the participation of the private sector in this growing partnership.
His Excellency added that the UAE is the largest trading partner of Korea in the Middle East and North Africa region, while Korea is one of the most prominent trade partners of the UAE in Asia, explaining that the level of non-oil trade exchange between the two countries is good, as it recorded more than 5 billion in 2019. Dollars, and the volume of UAE exports to Korea doubled compared to 2018, and re-exports increased at a rate of nearly three times.
His Excellency said that the scope of the current mutual investments includes wide sectors in the two countries’ markets, such as energy, manufacturing industries, wholesale and retail trade, logistics, technology, communications, financial services, construction, real estate, port management, and others, referring to broad prospects for developing partnership and exploring growth opportunities in new sectors.
He added, “We are looking, through the outputs of this committee, to achieve closer cooperation in a specific set of tracks, including enhancing trade and increasing Emirati exports to the Korean market. We also focus in particular on advanced technology sectors, so that the UAE and Korean economies can progress and work together from Through joint investment in the fields of innovation, research and development, to commercial production in the sectors of the new economy.
His Excellency touched on the leadership of the UAE in speeding up the systematic response to the economic challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, as the UAE government recently announced the launch of a flexible package and a general plan of 33 initiatives to support various economic sectors, stressing that the Ministry will work through this package to provide development programs Integrated into the national economy, and that the outputs of this package will serve the state’s economic relations with global partners.
His Excellency concluded by saying … “Through this session of the committee, we are keen to open new channels for cooperation in the health sector, especially responding to the Covid-19 pandemic. There are great opportunities for the UAE and Korean business communities to benefit from cooperation plans in artificial intelligence, the Internet of things, fifth generation technology and agriculture. “We will also work to develop cooperation at the governmental and private levels in entrepreneurship and small and medium enterprises, while we will also strive to develop sustainable partnerships in broad fields including energy, renewable energy, food security, aviation, tourism, intellectual property, education, financial services and others.”
For his part, His Excellency Namky Hong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance of the Republic of Korea stressed the strength of the bilateral and economic relations between the two countries, pointing to the importance and specificity of the seventh session of the Joint Economic Committee between the two countries as it coincides with the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1980.
He said that the two countries have succeeded over the past decades in developing exemplary cooperation in various economic axes, especially trade exchange, energy, infrastructure and health care, and recently, the start-up of the Barakah nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi represents a new success story for the strategic partnership between the UAE and the Republic of Korea.
His Excellency indicated that this successful march of cooperation and mutual benefit enhances the prospects for progress in the two countries’ partnership to a new stage, focusing on cooperation in developing the post-Covid 19 strategy in the two countries, as well as aligning the UAE’s green economy strategy with the new Korean green deal, which opens the way for the generation of New opportunities in green development, clean energy and environmentally friendly cities.
“Today we are talking about cooperation programs in the sectors of artificial intelligence, information and communication technology, and advanced manufacturing to build the economy of the future. I think we have many commonalities in our long-term development strategies that would bring prosperity to the economies of the two countries,” Hong added.
The agenda of the seventh session of the joint economic committee between the UAE and the Republic of Korea included 10 new development programs for cooperation that will continue to be implemented and followed up over the next two years until the next session of the committee is held in 2022. The agreed programs included .
Science, information and communication technology, and agricultural technology, including smart agriculture and renewable energy, including investment in alternative and clean energy projects, and the development of public transportation systems compatible with the model of hydrogen cities, resource cycling, small and medium enterprises, emerging companies, oil and gas and infrastructure, including projects and desalination technology Water, health care and medical services, including responding to the Covid 19 pandemic, exchanging knowledge and experts in the medical field, education, tourism and intellectual property, especially patents, and strengthening government cooperation channels, including medium-term economic development plans, and policies to deal with the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic on the economy.