The eighth session of the UAE-South Korea Joint Economic Committee (JEC) recently took place in Seoul, chaired by H.E. Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy (UAE), and H.E. Kyungho CHOO, South Korean Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance. The session witnessed high-level discussions on enhancing economic collaboration and mutual investments in strategic sectors of the new economy.
Highlighting the significant progress in bilateral relations between the UAE and South Korea, H.E. bin Touq emphasized the support and patronage of the leadership of both countries in driving this development. The Joint Economic Committee has played a crucial role in strengthening the strategic partnership between the two nations, focusing on sustainable development objectives.
Recognizing the profound and robust ties between the two countries, H.E. bin Touq highlighted the extensive economic cooperation across various sectors, including renewable energy, intellectual property, healthcare, technology, and agricultural technology. These collaborative endeavors have propelled economic and trade cooperation to new heights.
During the session, both sides agreed to broaden and enhance economic collaboration across 11 strategic sectors, with a strong focus on the new economy. The primary objective of this agreement is to facilitate the development agenda of both nations and foster a more adaptable and competitive economic model.
H.E. bin Touq expressed optimism that the session would foster increased cooperation and unlock new investment opportunities, particularly for SMEs, in emerging sectors of the new economy. He also highlighted the UAE’s dynamic investment environment and urged the South Korean business community to leverage the country’s advantages to expand their ventures in various sectors across the UAE and the wider region.
H.E. Kyungho CHOO, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance emphasized the importance of strengthening economic and trade relations in new economy sectors, supporting the sustainable economic development of both countries.
During the session, the achievements from the previous session held in September 2020 were reviewed, with a particular focus on sectors such as energy, investment, trade, climate change, agriculture, water resources, emerging industries, smart infrastructure, healthcare, and intellectual property.
Recognizing the significance of the recent summit between His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and President Yoon Suk Yeol of South Korea, the two countries emphasized the enhancement of their strategic partnership. They highlighted the importance of leveraging the achievements of this summit by reinforcing collaboration through the Joint Economic Committee.
The UAE and South Korea expressed their commitment to expanding and diversifying bilateral cooperation across a wide range of sectors, with a specific emphasis on the green economy and clean energy sectors. Both countries aim to implement agreements signed during the recent summit, including initiatives related to oil storage and management, strategic action groups for decarbonization, clean hydrogen supply chains, and mutual technology development.
As of 2022, the UAE is South Korea’s second-largest trade partner in the GCC and the Arab regions. Non-oil foreign trade between the two countries reached USD 5.3 billion by the end of 2022, showcasing over a 14% growth compared to the previous year. Furthermore, UAE exports to Korean markets experienced a remarkable 35% growth during January and February 2023.
In terms of investment, South Korea’s investment balance in the UAE reached approximately USD 2.2 billion across sectors such as finance, insurance, mining, energy, technology, and real estate. With the UAE’s plan to invest USD 30 billion in sectors related to renewable energy, advanced technology, and the new economy, further qualitative shifts in UAE investments in South Korea are expected.