UAE announces decision to invest US$30 bln in S. Korea

ABU DHABI– The United Arab Emirates decided Sunday to invest US$30 billion in South Korea in the nuclear power, arms and energy sectors during a summit between the two countries’ leaders in Abu Dhabi, the presidential office said.

UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan announced the decision while meeting with President Yoon Suk Yeol, saying, “We decided to make the investment with confidence in the Republic of Korea that keeps its promises under all circumstances,” the office said.

The Republic of Korea is South Korea’s official name.

The investment will be made evenly across the areas of strategic cooperation between the two countries, including in nuclear power, arms, hydrogen and solar power, senior presidential secretary for press affairs Kim Eun-hye said.

“I was deeply impressed by South Korean businesses that execute their contracts regardless of the difficulty, including COVID-19,” Mohamed was quoted as saying. “President Yoon Suk Yeol’s state visit will be an historic occasion for bilateral relations.”

Yoon promised in response to “closely take care of” the investment so that it not only makes returns but also plays a large role for the UAE’s sustainable and mid- to long-term development, Kim said.

The summit took place at the Qasr Al Watan presidential palace on the second day of Yoon’s four-day state visit to the UAE, the first such visit by a South Korean leader since the two sides established diplomatic ties in 1980.

The focus of the trip has been expansion of bilateral cooperation in areas such as nuclear power, energy, arms and investment as Yoon seeks to revive South Korea’s economy through increased exports.

The president is accompanied on the trip by a business delegation representing some 100 South Korean firms.

“President Yoon and President Mohamed held an expanded meeting followed by a one-on-one meeting, and agreed to develop the special strategic partnership between South Korea and the UAE to the highest level,” the presidential office said in a press release.

Yoon voiced hope that the summit will be an important starting point for the elevation of the strategic partnership, with the two countries strengthening strategic cooperation not only in the four key areas of nuclear power, energy, investment and arms, but also in new industries, health, culture and people-to-people exchanges.

Mohamed expressed his strong agreement, saying he was very pleased to have Yoon as his first state guest since his inauguration last May and that he strongly hopes to further develop the strategic partnership with South Korea.

In particular, Mohamed cited the peaceful use of nuclear power, new and renewable energy, hydrogen, defense technology, climate change and space among areas where the UAE is ready to drastically increase cooperation with South Korea.

Yoon invited his UAE counterpart to visit South Korea at a convenient time this year, and Mohamed replied that would do so at an early date as he considers South Korea to be his second home.

Following the expanded meeting, officials from the two countries signed 13 memorandums of understanding in the presence of the two leaders.

The MOUs called for increased cooperation in nuclear power, energy, investment, arms and climate change.

Yoon and first lady Kim Keon Hee attended an official welcome ceremony at the presidential palace ahead of the summit, which included the inspection of an honor guard and a 21-gun salute.

Overhead, seven fighter jets of the UAE Air Force flew in formation while releasing a red and blue vapor trail, the colors of the South Korean flag.

Following the summit, Yoon attended a state luncheon hosted by Mohamed. He was served a variety of dishes, including camel meat, which is usually reserved for special guests, according to the presidential office.

Top South Korean business executives in attendance included Samsung Electronics Executive Chairman Lee Jae-yong, SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won and Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Euisun Chung.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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