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Emirates News Agency – UAE to invest US$30 billion in South Korea in next few years

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ABU DHABI, 15th March, 2023 (WAM) — Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, held talks with Dukgeun Ahn, Minister of Trade of the Republic of Korea, at the headquarters of the Ministry of Economy in Dubai. The meeting explored joint investment opportunities in several priority areas including trade, industry, real estate, insurance, health, technology, digital transformation and food safety. The meeting was witnessed by Lee Seok-gu, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the UAE, and representatives of several Korean government entities.
During the meeting, Al Zeyoudi highlighted the strength and dynamism of the strategic partnership between the UAE and South Korea, which is the result of the commitment of the two governments to continuously develop and strengthen it. He also highlighted frequent exchanges of visits by senior officials and trade missions from both countries. South Korean President Yoon Hee-yeol visited the UAE in January this year, during which he met with UAE President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to discuss strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries.
Al Zeyoudi added: “Trade and economic relations between the UAE and South Korea are continuing to grow. The total non-oil trade between the two countries is close to AED 19.5 billion (US$ 5.3 billion) in 2022, an increase of 14% over 2021. Furthermore, last year UAE exports to South Korea rose by 17.5 percent to over AED 2.8 billion (US$ 781 million), while our total re-exports to South Korea amounted to AED 1.3 billion (US$ 367 million).”
He added: “Today’s meeting is another step in taking our trade and investment partnership to new heights. We are eager to work closely with our partners in South Korea to promote trade cooperation in various fields and provide a promising future Chance.”
During the meeting, the two ministers agreed to intensify their joint efforts to implement the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding between the UAE Ministry of Economy and South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. The agreement is part of a series of memorandums of understanding signed between the two countries in January 2023 during the official visit of a high-level South Korean delegation to the UAE.
The MoU aims to facilitate trade between the two countries by facilitating import and export procedures for importers and exporters in the two markets, thereby creating more investment and trade opportunities for the private sector. These efforts will encourage UAE and South Korean SMEs to expand their businesses into each other’s markets, creating new future-proof partnerships.
The UAE also plans to invest nearly US$30 billion in South Korea in the next few years, covering several important economic sectors. Korea’s FDI in the UAE totaled US$2.2 billion as of early 2021, a 73% increase compared to early 2013. These investments are mainly concentrated in finance, insurance, mining, retail, real estate, transportation, energy and other fields and technology sectors.
In addition, Al Zeyoudi briefed the South Korean delegation on the economic policies adopted by the UAE to improve the country’s investment climate. These include incentives and enablers to encourage private sector investment and expansion in the country’s market, amendments to the Business Companies Act allowing for 100% foreign ownership in the country, and upgraded residency laws aimed at attracting business owners, entrepreneurs and talent , and to promote the growth of commerce, trade and economic activity.
Additionally, Al Zeyoudi elaborated on the UAE’s achievements under the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) programme, which has resulted in the signing of four agreements with India, Israel, Indonesia and Turkey in the past 12 months. He added that CEPA negotiations are currently progressing with more strategic markets to enhance the future growth and sustainability of the UAE’s foreign trade.
The advantages and opportunities that the UAE’s NextGenFDI program offers to foreign companies looking to invest and expand in the UAE were also highlighted during the meeting. The initiative aims to grow the UAE’s tech ecosystem and inject $500 million into the national economy by attracting global companies working in technology, digital solutions and software to the country.

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