South Korea Seeks to Capitalize on New Business Opportunities in the Middle East: Finance Minister Announces Follow-Up Measures

SEOUL: Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho announced on Tuesday that the South Korean government is actively pursuing follow-up measures to expand its trade and industrial cooperation with Middle Eastern countries.

According to Yonhap News Agency, these measures come on the heels of recent high-level visits and agreements, with the aim of fueling a second business boom in the Middle East similar to that experienced by South Korean companies in the 1970s.

Last week, President Yoon Suk Yeol visited Saudi Arabia and Qatar. During the trip, South Korea signed contracts and memorandums of understanding worth $20.2 billion. This development adds to last year's business memorandums with Saudi Arabia worth $29 billion and investment pledges from the United Arab Emirates worth $30 billion earlier this year.

Choo elaborated on the government's plans during a meeting with economy-related ministers. The government intends to focus on five key areas: energy, infrastructure, new industries, exports, and investment cooperation. Specifically, South Korea aims to implement a joint oil reserve project with Saudi Arabia by 2028 and advance projects in the areas of hydrogen and clean energy resources.

Additional talks at the government level are planned to explore ways to bolster South Korean companies' entrance into the Middle Eastern market. The government also aims to attract more foreign investment in new industrial sectors such as advanced manufacturing, digital technology, and cosmetics.

Addressing the overall economic situation, Choo said indicators suggest a more robust economy. Government data show that industrial output increased for the second consecutive month in September, largely driven by growth in the semiconductor industry. Exports are also expected to rebound in October after a year-long decline.

However, Choo acknowledged external risks, such as the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, fluctuations in global oil prices, and aggressive monetary policies by major countries. He assured that the government would remain vigilant in monitoring these unstable factors to stabilize prices and improve the people's livelihood.

scroll to top