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Korea and UAE agree to strengthen public-private economic cooperation 2023-01-26

Trade, Industry and Energy Ministry’s Deputy Trade Minister Jeong Dae-jin held the working group meeting of Korea-Middle East public-private joint committee for economic cooperation on January 25 at the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) in the attendance of relevant ministries, public institutions and private sector companies.

The meeting consisted of two programs, the first of which focused on follow-up and implementation measures of the 16 MOUs signed between the two governments on the occasion of the recent UAE summit diplomacy, as well as inter-ministerial collaboration for mutual synergy of MOU-related sectors, namely energy, new industries, defense, trade and investment.

Deputy Trade Minister Jeong Dae-jin remarked that the Korea-UAE’s partnership, which was built upon nuclear power plant and defense cooperation, has expanded throughout the comprehensive scope of industries, including clean energy, new industries, trade and investment, while their existing ties have also deepened.

The Korea-UAE Business Forum and consultation sessions have not only achieved 48 MOUs from consultations among 200 business leaders of 101 large, middle-market, small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs), but have also led to UAE’s decision to invest USD 30 billion in Korea from its sovereign wealth fund.

This is a record-breaking scale of outcome in terms of quality and quantity in comparison with previous Korea-UAE summit meetings, and will go on to be an opportunity for overcoming multiple crises through exports expansion and large-scale project orders.

In the second program, public institutions and private companies discussed specific requests for smooth project execution and presented detailed business plans for realizing the 32 private sector MOUs, such as establishing local joint corporations.

Participants requested that the Government take interest in companies’ local administrative procedures so that promising market and buyer information continues to assist their business endeavors in the Middle East, where linguistic and geographic barriers tend to limit their access to information.

Deputy Trade Minister Jeong stated that the Korean government plans to support the Korea-Middle East public-private joint committee for economic cooperation in winning large-scale projects and attracting investment to generate tangible outcomes from the economic summit diplomacy. The two governments will also manage a communication channel to concentrate joint efforts.

Building on the momentum from Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to Korea in November as well as the recent summit meeting, the Government aims to take this opportunity to actively expand economic cooperation with more Middle Eastern countries, like Qatar, Oman and Israel.

To this end, the Government plans to realign the Korea-Saudi joint public-private committee for economic cooperation to expand its scope across the entire Middle East. Korea’s ministries participating in this committee will take up their respective roles of planning, progress assessment and resolving issues over eight major areas, including energy, new industries and defense.