The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has decided to invest $30 billion (about 37.26 trillion won) in South Korea, the president's office said. This is the largest investment agreement between the UAE and other countries.
President Yoon Suk-yeol held a Korea-UAE summit with President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at Abu Dhabi's presidential palace on Jan. 15 (local time), the second day of his state visit to the UAE.
President Mohamed told President Yoon at the meeting, "I decided to invest with trust in Korea that keeps its promise under any circumstances," adding, "I was impressed by Korean companies that fulfill the contract no matter what difficulties such as COVID 19 pandemic." UAE plans to invest in South Korea in the fields of nuclear power, defense, and energy sectors.
President Yoon responded, "We will take care of this investment carefully so that it can play a big role in the sustainable mid- to long-term development of the UAE."
Regarding nuclear power plant cooperation, the two countries signed an "administrative agreement" to simplify export procedures. In particular, they adopted a joint declaration to strengthen energy cooperation between the two countries, including nuclear power plants, to achieve a broader concept than carbon neutrality, "net zero."
It included the two countries' joint entry into the nuclear power plant market in a third country and expanding energy finance and investment. Analysts say that the relationship between the two countries has evolved into a "carbon-neutral alliance."
The UAE is the first Middle Eastern country to declare carbon neutrality and is pushing for a transition to a clean energy-oriented economic and industrial structure.
It is the first time that a South Korean president has made a state visit to the UAE since establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1980. In addition, President Yoon is the first leader to visit the UAE since President Mohamed took office in May last year.
Prior to the summit, President Mohamed held a large-scale official welcoming ceremony, including an "air show," to honor President Yoon at the highest level.