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UAE President Pledges $30 Billion Investment in South Korea

Daniel Kim Views  

UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan met with South Korea‘s business leaders during the first state visit in history. This meeting is part of an effort to encourage participation from South Korean companies in UAE local business, in conjunction with a massive investment of $30 billion last year.

Sheikh Mohammed, who is visiting Korea at President Yoon Suk Yeol’s invitation, emphasized on the 28th the need for collaboration with Korean companies in various fields, such as the construction of smart cities like Masdar City in UAE, nuclear power, the defense industry, and construction.

Key conglomerate leaders attended the meeting, including Lee Jae Yong, Chairman of Samsung Electronics; Chey Tae Won, Chairman of SK; Chung Eui Sun, Chairman of Hyundai Motor; Kim Dong Kwan, Vice Chairman of Hanwha; Huh Tae Soo, Chairman of GS Group; and Chung Kisun, Vice Chairman of HD Hyundai.

Key figures in our entertainment and gaming industry, such as Bang Si-hyuk, Chairman of HYBE, and Kim Taek Jin, Representative Director of NCSoft, also participated in the meeting, raising expectations for cooperation between the two countries.

This follows a similar trend where Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, actively invested in Korea after Yoon’s summit. Notable examples include the groundbreaking of the S-OIL Shahin Project in the Onsan National Industrial Complex in Ulsan, Hyundai Construction’s order for a Saudi petrochemical plant project, and Samsung E&A and GS Construction’s orders for the Fadhili gas expansion program. Moreover, the Saudi sovereign wealth fund (PIF) owns 10.23% and 9.26% of Nexon and NCSoft, respectively.

On the 27th, the Saudi Data Artificial Intelligence Agency head personally visited Kakao Mobility to experience their service and discuss business cooperation.

The industry expects cooperation with the Middle East’s big players, such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia, to provide good opportunities for Korean companies. Sheikh Mohammed agreed to invest $30 billion in South Korea during a summit with Yoon during his state visit to UAE in January last year. At the exchange rate then, this amount was equivalent to 37 trillion won, which currently amounts to 40 trillion won.

The government is putting effort into relations with the UAE because the UAE is the key to the second Middle East boom and a strategic stronghold. The UAE is a core ally in the Middle East that has established a special strategic partnership with Korea.

In light of this state visit, governments and the business community have held a Korea-UAE Business Investment Forum to strengthen their cooperative intentions. At the event, Korean biotech company Meditox signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with the state-owned company in Dubai, the TECOM Group of UAE, to establish a bio-pharmaceutical production plant in Dubai. At the forum, business people from both countries discussed cooperation in clean energy, ICT, telecommunications, logistics, manufacturing, and trade based on CEPA.

Saeed Ghumran Al Remeithi, CEO of Emirates Steel, and Saeed Asaad Al Arar, Executive Director of the Mubadala Sovereign Wealth Fund, each discussed their contributions to clean energy dissemination in the steel and financial investment industries for sustainable development and explained their future directions.

Masood Mahmood Sharif Mahmood, CEO of e&Group (a state-owned telecommunications company), and Ammar Al Malik, Deputy Chairman of TECOM Group, presented on the current opportunities arising from the development of ICT technologies such as smart cities and 5G technology and promising future fields such as cyber security and digital transformation.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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