President-elect Yoon meets UAE deputy head of mission, other GCC envoys
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President-elect Yoon meets UAE deputy head of mission, other GCC envoys
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2022.04.25 09:31
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Amidst atmosphere of increasing international cooperation by Yoon Administration

On the afternoon of April 1, 2022, President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol met with Eisa Al Samahi, deputy head of mission of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Seoul and other member ambassadors of the Gulf Cooperation Council at his Government Transfer Committee office in Tongui-dong, Jongn-gu, Seoul.

It is a sign of President-elect Yoon’s strong interest in the promotion of cooperation, friendship and association with the UAE and other countries of the region.

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol (right) shakes hands with Eisa Al Samahi, deputy head of mission of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the office of the transition committee in Tongui-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, on April 1.
President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol (right) shakes hands with Eisa Al Samahi, deputy head of mission of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the office of the transition committee in Tongui-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, on April 1.

In a sharp contrast with the leaders of the out-going regime of soon-outgoing President Moon Jae-in, Yoon and members of his new administration are seen to be those who are much more oriented in the recovery and further promotion and enhancement of cooperation with the international community. And the UAE is considered to be on the top of the list of the countries with whom the new government will increase cooperation and interaction.

According to a report early this year by Korea’s Yonhap News Agency, Korea will speed up cooperation with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in key eco-friendly technologies for the hydrogen economy. President Moon Jae-in was quoted as saying, “Korea seeks to expand the horizons of energy cooperation with the UAE and the Persian Gulf nation.”

President Moon, who was in Dubai for a three-day visit as part of his week-long trip to the Middle East, made the remarks at a business forum attended by Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, the nation's minister of energy and infrastructure, and other senior UAE officials.

Since Korea won a US$20 billion contract in 2009 to construct four nuclear reactors in Barakah, the UAE, the two nations have been seeking to expand cooperation in other sectors.

"Korea and the UAE have made many achievements throughout deeper cooperation in traditional energy sectors, including oil and nuclear power plants," Moon told the forum.

Then he said, “Korea and the UAE will expand energy cooperation into the hydrogen sector, a core energy resource in the age of carbon neutrality."

Korea and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed patient delivery contracts between UAE and with 13 Korean hospitals to strengthen their health care cooperation system on Jan. 18, 2022.
Korea and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed patient delivery contracts between UAE and with 13 Korean hospitals to strengthen their health care cooperation system on Jan. 18, 2022.

There are many areas where Korea and the UAE can enormously benefit from each other in a win-win cooperation.

The resource-rich UAE has great potential to produce a so-called blue hydrogen, which is derived from natural gas, Moon said, adding that Korea boasts technological prowess in hydrogen-powered cars, hydrogen fueling stations and fuel cells.

If Korea and the UAE jointly bolster investment and supply chains in the hydrogen sector, Moon said the two nations will further grow together.

"The hydrogen industry is a key for carbon neutrality," Moon said. "Carbon neutrality is obviously a difficult process, but if the two nations promote the hydrogen industry through solidarity and cooperation, they will have new opportunities in the challenge."

Since 2019, Korea has been building a hydrogen-powered public transportation system in the UAE, Moon said.

Hydrogen is an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels as automobiles running on the resource only create water in the process of generating power. Hydrogen can be produced as a by-product of industrial facilities, including petrochemical plants as well.

According to a report published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Oct. 14, 2010, the UAE has distinguished economic cooperation relations with the Republic of Korea.

The volume of the UAE’s exports to the Republic of Korea reached US$5.693 billion in 2020, while the volume of exports from the Republic of Korea to the UAE reached US$3.694 billion.

Crude oil is the most important export of the UAE to the Republic of Korea (about 90% of total exports).

The most important Korean exports to the UAE are technological products, such as cars, telephones, ships, electrical tools, and display screens.

The total amount of Korean investments in the UAE reached US$ 1.4 billion, compared to US$ 0.45 billion for UAE investments in the Republic of Korea.

Due to the expansion of the joint projects, the number of Korean companies working in the UAE has increased to 200 companies.

Direct flights of the national carriers of the UAE from Abu Dhabi and Dubai to Seoul play an important role in supporting the economic cooperation between the two countries.

The UAE is a federation of seven emirates, founded on Dec. 2, 1971, which marked her 50th anniversary of national founding last year. The UAE is the gateway to the Middle East and the international aviation hub country. The UAE has been chosen as the best country for young Arab people to live for nine consecutive years (according to Arab Youth Survey) for the reasons of her open economic system and the culture of tolerance.

Amid the COVID-19 global pandemic, the UAE has set an example of “humanitarian solidarity” by providing medical and food supplies to over 70 countries such as Africa, Central Asia, European countries, as well as neighboring Middle Eastern countries.

In particular, 2020 was a meaningful year which marked the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations Korea and the UAE. Korea has a “special strategic partnership” only with the among Middle Eastern and African countries--and the partnership is developing to a mature stage, befitting the 40-plus years of relations, cooperation and friendship.

In addition to the cooperation in diplomacy, defense, and energy based on solid friendship and confidence between leaders, the two countries have recently been working closely in public health sector to respond to the COVID-19 together.

The UAE has the largest Korean community (about 13,000 people) in African and Middle Eastern countries. And the Korean Cultural Center (KCC) in Abu Dhabi, the only one in the Gulf, is organizing different programs for cultural exchange to bring the citizens of Korea and UAE to get closer to the heart.

The ROK and the UAE designated the year of 2020 as the “Year of Cultural Dialogue,” but considering the difficulties under the COVID-19 pandemic situation, the two countries have decided to extend the period to the following year so that all the related events could be held more properly.

Korea and UAE will stay vigilant and cooperate together to curb the spread of infection of COVID-19 pandemic. Even in the midst of changes in international order due to COVID-19 pandemic, Korea and UAE will work side by side more firmly to develop the win-win cooperation. The Embassy will do its utmost to support the bilateral cooperation.

According to the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the UAE in the Middle East is a federation of seven emirates, founded on Dec. 2, 1971, which marked the 50th anniversary of national founding in 2021.

The UAE is the gateway to the Middle East region of the world for Korea and many other countries of the world, and an international aviation hub country.

The UAE has been chosen as the best country for young Arab people to live in for nine consecutive years (according to Arab Youth Survey) for the reasons of the country’s open economic system and culture of tolerance.

Amid the COVID-19 global pandemic, the UAE has set an example of “humanitarian solidarity” by providing medical and food supplies to over 70 countries of the world such as Africa, Central Asia, European countries, as well as the neighboring Middle Eastern countries.

Again, in particular, 2020 was a meaningful year which marked the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Korea and the UAE. Korea has a “special strategic partnership” only with the UAE among the Middle Eastern and African countries. And the partnership is developing to a mature stage, befitting the 40-plus years of relations, friendship and cooperation.

In addition to the cooperation in diplomacy, defense, and energy based on solid friendship and confidence between leaders, the two countries have recently been working closely in the public health sector to respond to the COVID-19 together.

The UAE has the largest Korean community (about 13,000 people) in African and Middle Eastern countries. And the Korean Cultural Center (KCC) in Abu Dhabi, the only one in the Gulf, is organizing various programs for cultural exchange to bring the citizens of Korea and the UAE to get closer to their hearts.

Kore and the UAE designated 2020 as the “Year of Cultural Dialogue,” but considering the difficulties under the COVID-19 pandemic situation, the two countries have decided to extend the period to the following year so that all the related events could be held more properly.

Korea and the UAE will stay vigilant and cooperate together to curb the spread of infection of COVID-19 pandemic. Even in the midst of changes in international order due to COVID-19 pandemic, Korea and the UAE are working side by side more firmly to develop their win-win cooperation. Korea will do her utmost to support the bilateral cooperation.


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