UPDATE : 2019.8.26 MON 10:01
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UAE crown prince visits Samsung chip plant

The de facto leader of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) visited Samsung Electronics Co.'s chipmaking plants just south of Seoul on Tuesday and met with Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of the South Korean tech giant.

Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan arrived here earlier in the day and is on a two-day official visit.

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong (left), the de facto leader of South Korea's top conglomerate, Samsung Group, shakes hands with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan at Samsung's chipmaking plant in Hwaseong, South Korea, on Feb. 26, 2019.

According to Samsung, the prince and his delegation toured the plant in Hwaseong and were briefed on the company's future strategy.

The prince also showed interest in the tech giant's smart factory system, and was given a 12-inch wafer as a gift, company officials said.

The UAE royalty and Lee might have shared opinions on how to expand cooperation in IT and 5G technology, sources said.

Earlier this month, Lee, who effectively runs Samsung Group, the country's top conglomerate, met the Abu Dhabi prince in Dubai to discuss ways to further improve the countries' bilateral relations and economic cooperation.

Samsung is seeking ways to expand its foothold in the Middle Eastern market to woo deep-pocketed customers amid flagging demand for premium smartphones.

Last month, Samsung opened a new multi-experience store at the Dubai Mall, displaying the full suite of its connected devices and other gadgets in the showroom.

Meanwhile, the UAE is the only Middle Eastern country to have established a special strategic partnership with South Korea.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and the crown prince will hold a summit on Wednesday, at which they are expected to issue a joint statement suggesting the future direction of their countries' bilateral relationship.

They are widely expected to call for efforts to expand the countries' cooperation to semiconductors, 5G technology, the defense industry and information communication technology. (Yonhap)

Kim Jung-mi  edt@koreapost.com

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