South Korea and Qatar Ink US$4.6 Billion Deal Covering LNG Carriers and Diverse Sectors

DOHA - Companies and institutions from South Korea and Qatar signed one contract and 11 memorandums of understanding (MOUs) totaling US$4.6 billion during South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol's state visit to Qatar on Wednesday, according to his office.

According to a news release by Yonhap News Agency, the US$3.9 billion contract was inked between South Korea's HD Hyundai Heavy Industries and Qatar's state-owned petroleum company QatarEnergy for the construction of 17 liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers. This contract marks the largest in the history of South Korea's shipbuilding industry, stated senior presidential secretary for economic affairs Choi Sang-mok.

The remaining 11 MOUs spanned various sectors such as smart farming, solar energy, driverless cars, cultural content, medical services, and finance. Choi Sang-mok added that this contract allows HD Hyundai Heavy Industries to secure work for half a year and increases South Korea's share of the global LNG carrier orders for the year from 74% to 81%.

Additional negotiations are underway between South Korea's Hanwha Ocean and Samsung Heavy Industries and the Qatari side for the construction of approximately 30 vessels. President Yoon also sought the attention and assistance of Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani for South Korean shipping companies competing for a contract to operate 40 LNG carriers.

Ten of the 11 MOUs were signed at a business forum that was attended by President Yoon, along with business and government officials from both countries. Among the signed MOUs were an agreement between Samsung C&T and the Qatar Free Zones Authority for solar power development, an MOU between SW Mobility and Protocol Capital for cooperation on driverless cars, and an MOU between the Korea Trade Insurance Corporation and Qatar Development Bank aimed at boosting the competitiveness of South Korean firms.

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