On January 16, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy held a Korea-UAE business forum in Abu Dhabi to help South Korean corporations look for UAE partners as part of efforts to increase exports to the Middle Eastern country and explore business opportunities there.
The business forum came after President Yoon Suk-yeol and his UAE counterpart Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan held a summit at the Qasr Al Watan presidential palace in Abu Dhabi on January 15.
The two leaders adopted a joint statement which calls on the two countries to strengthen cooperation in nuclear power, renewable energy, investment, and defense sectors. The statement mentioned the UAE’s promise on the large-scale investment in Korea, the fourth-largest economy in Asia.
Companies from both countries signed 23 memorandums of understanding (MOUs) and contracts worth $6.1 billion during the business forum which attracted over 320 government officials and businesspeople. The MOUs and contracts were focused on strengthening cooperation in energy and nuclear power as well as new technology fields such as smart city, smart farm, cultural content, and clean fuel.
The participants included Samsung Electronics Executive Chairman Lee Jae-yong, SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won and Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Euisun. Their presence reflected their keen interest in the business and economic potential of the UAE.
Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. (KHNP), which has built the UAE’s Barakah Nuclear Power Plant, a symbol of Korea’s first export of nuclear reactors, signed an MOU with Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation on strategic partnership for achieving net-zero carbon emissions. They pledged to expand collaboration in building nuclear power plants in third countries and developing small modular reactor (SMR) technology.
In the nuclear power and energy-related sector, five Korean companies including KHNP-KNP and UnisonHKR agreed to sign contracts worth $4.6 million. Daehan Engineering & Construction initialed MOUs on a project worth $20 million with the UAE’s waste management agency to set up a waste recycling plant to extract energy.
Samsung C&T Corp. reached an agreement with the UAE’s Masdar to cooperate in hydrogen and renewable energy. It also initialed an MOU with Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. to forge a partnership in power transmission and gas development projects.
Besides, the Korea National Oil Corp. agreed with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) to collaborate in producing clean hydrogen. Medytox, a Korean biopharmaceutical firm, also agreed with Dubai Science Park to push for the creation of a bio products factory.
The ministry said Hyundai Heavy Industries and LIG Nex1 sought to step up cooperation in defense projects by signing MOUs with UAE companies. KTECH Co, a Korean machinery parts maker, initialed a contract with Caracal, a UAE firearms manufacturer.
In addition, the trade ministry organized a separate business conference with 37 Korean companies and some 60 UAE buyers participating. In the conference, contracts worth $11 million were signed, the trade ministry said.
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