“We hope that Korean companies will make active investment in agriculture and healthcare industries in the United Arab Emirates,” said Ambassador Abdulla Saif Al Nuaimi of the UAE in Seoul at a recent interview with The Korea Post media.
In an exclusive interview with the Korea Post media, owner and publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean-language news media publications since 1985, Amb. Al Nuaimi said, “UAE is the center of world connecting Asia, Africa and Europe. Accordingly, Korean companies can expand their global trade business through the UAE.”
“At present, many Korean companies and hospitals, including Seoul National University Hospital and KEPCO, are doing business in the capital Abu Dahbi, Dubai and other cities,” said Amb. Al Nuaimi.
Noting that the Dubai Expo is scheduled to be held from Oct. 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022 under the topic of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,” the ambassador said, “KOTRA plans to build and operate the Korean Pavilion for the Dubai Expo. We hope that many Korean food, healthcare and medicine companies will participate in the international Expo.”
Asked about the UAE situation in fighting against the Covid-19 pandemic, he said, “The UAE, which has a population of 9 million, has the fastest vaccination rate per population in the world, with 73% of residents vaccinated at least once.”
Amb. Al Nuaimi said, “The UAE is one of the best countries in the world for foreign investors. For instance, the UAE has decided to allow foreigners to own 100% of corporate shares from June 1. The UAE has decided to abolish restrictions that allowed foreigners to own up to 49 percent of corporate shares to encourage investment.”
Under the decision, the UAE will open up 13 major economic sectors, including renewable energy, agriculture, transportation and e-commerce, to foreign investment without limits.
The UAE is the second largest Arab country after Saudi Arabia in terms of economic volume. It also ranks 16th in the World Bank's "Easy-to-Business Country" rating.
The UAE is a very special country to Korea and President Moon Jae-in takes a particular personal interest in the promotion of relations, friendship and cooperation between Korea and the UAE.
In his opening remarks at the Korea UAE Summit on Feb. 27, 2019, President Moon said: “The UAE has become the largest market for Korean exporters in the Middle East and the biggest overseas market for Korean construction companies. The UAE also ranked first in terms of people-to-people exchanges in the region. As the UAE is the only Middle Eastern country that has established a special strategic partnership with Korea, I am particularly attached to it.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of the Republic of Korea has detailed information on the importance of increased cooperation between Korea and the UAE. According to MOFA, the UAE is a federation of seven emirates, founded on Dec. 2, 1971, which marks 50th anniversary of national founding this year. The UAE is the gateway to the Middle East and the international aviation hub country.
The UAE has been chosen as the best country for young Arab people to live for nine consecutive years (according to Arab Youth Survey) for the reasons of its open economic system and the culture of tolerance.
Amid the COVID-19 global pandemic, the UAE has set an example of “humanitarian solidarity” by providing medical and food supplies to over 70 countries such as Africa, Central Asia, European countries, as well as neighboring Middle Eastern countries.
In particular, 2020 was a meaningful year which marked the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Korea and the UAE.
Korea has a “special strategic partnership” only with the UAE among Middle Eastern and African countries. And the partnership is developing to a mature stage, befitting over 40 years of relations.
In addition to the cooperation in diplomacy, defense, and energy based on solid friendship and confidence between leaders, Korea and the UAE have recently been working closely in public health sector to respond to the COVID-19 together.
The UAE has the largest Korean community (about 13,000 people) in the African and Middle Eastern countries.
And the Korean Cultural Center (KCC) in Abu Dhabi, the only one in the Gulf, is organizing different programs for cultural exchange to bring the citizens of Korea and the UAE to get closer to the heart.
Korea and the UAE designated the year of 2020 as the “Year of Cultural Dialogue,” but considering the difficulties under the COVID-19 pandemic situation, the two countries have decided to extend the period to the next year so that all the related events could be held more properly.
Korea and the UAE will stay vigilant and cooperate together to curb the spread of infection of COVID-19 pandemic. Even in the midst of changes in international order due to COVID-19 pandemic, Korea and the UAE will work side by side more firmly to develop the win-win cooperation.
Details of the opening remarks by President Moon Jae-in at Korea-UAE Summit on Feb. 27, 2019:
I wholeheartedly welcome Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the members of the UAE delegation on your official visit to Korea. The Crown Prince and I met over dinner yesterday, enjoying our time together and making our two countries’ friendly, cooperative relations even firmer. It was truly meaningful.
Last March in the UAE, we both agreed to elevate bilateral ties to a special strategic partnership. I am gratified that cooperation between our two nations has been developing in a wide range of areas since then and am grateful to the Crown Prince.
As a result, last year, the UAE became the largest market for Korean exporters in the Middle East and the biggest overseas market for Korean construction companies. The country also ranked first in terms of people-to-people exchanges in the region. As the UAE is the only Middle Eastern country that has established a special strategic partnership with Korea, I am particularly attached to it.
I hope that our two countries will further strengthen existing cooperation and expand it into the realm of new technologies and industries being pursued in response to the Fourth Industrial Revolution era, including information and communication technologies, such as 5G; artificial intelligence; robots; semiconductors; new renewable energies; and smart farms.
It so happens that the second North Korea-U.S. summit is to be held today in Vietnam, so this is a very significant day in the efforts to achieve peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula. The Crown Prince conveyed a message of tolerance, harmony and co-existence by arranging Pope Francis’s visit to Abu Dhabi early this month, making the UAE the first among the countries on the Arabian Peninsula to do so. Likewise, I hope that the Crown Prince’s visit to Korea will also help an atmosphere of permanent peace and mutual prosperity widely disseminate on the Korean Peninsula.