The seventh session of the UAE-South Korea Joint Economic Committee, JEC, was chaired virtually by Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, and Nam-Ki Hong, Korean Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance, in the presence of Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade.
During the session, the two countries agreed to enhance cooperation in 10 vital and strategic sectors and programmes. They emphasised the strength of ties, which have witnessed significant expansion since bilateral diplomatic relations were established in 1980.
In addition, the UAE and South Korea discussed the global economic developments in light of the spread of COVID-19 and its impact on global trade.
Cooperation and investments aimed at industrialisation and commercial production in the sectors of SMEs and communication, information technology, IT, Artificial Intelligence, AI, the Internet of Things, IoT, 5G, smart agriculture, green economy, energy, renewable energy, science and innovation in the medical and agricultural sectors, in addition to education, tourism, financial services and transportation were also discussed.
It was also agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, between the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry in the UAE and Korea to activate the cooperation frameworks related to Seoul’s participation in the Expo, which has been postponed to next year because of the pandemic.
Bin Touq said that the volume of non-oil trade exchange between the two countries is promising, as it amounted to more than US$5 billion in 2019. The volume of UAE exports to Korea doubled compared to 2018, while re-exports grew nearly three times.
“We are focusing on the advanced technology sectors in particular, so that the UAE and Korean economies can progress and work together through investments in the fields of innovation, research and development, to reach the commercial production in the sectors of the new economy,” he said.
He also touched on how the UAE’s leadership is expediting the systematic response to the economic challenges posed by the pandemic, pointing to the UAE government’s recent launch of a flexible package and a general plan of 33 initiatives to support various economic sectors.
Nam-Ki Hong said, “This year, very close cooperation between both countries in dealing with COVID-19 has once again proven the value of our outstanding strategic partnership. Given the history of our highly successful and mutually beneficial cooperation, I look forward to advancing these efforts to the next stage by jointly developing strategies for the post-COVID-era. Recently, Korea announced the ‘Korean Green New Deal Strategy,’ much like the 50-year strategy announced by the UAE, which aims to develop future industries based on AI, IoT, 5G, ICT and advanced manufacturing.”
The agenda of the seventh JEC between the UAE and Korea included 10 new development programmes for cooperation that will continue to be implemented and followed up over the next two years until the next session of the Committee 2022.
These include Science, IT and Telecommunications; Agriculture technology including smart agriculture; Renewable energy, including investment in alternative and clean energy projects, and the development of public transportation systems in line with the hydrogen city model; Recycle resources; SMEs and start-ups; Oil and Gas; Infrastructure, included projects and desalination technology; healthcare and medical services, including the response to the pandemic and the exchange of knowledge and experts in the medical field; Education, tourism, and Intellectual Property, especially patents; strengthening government cooperation channels, including medium-term economic development plans, and policies to deal with the effects of COVID-19 on the economy.
Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs