The event shed light on investment and trade opportunities between South Korea and the UAE, and the important role of the latter as a business hub in the MENA Region. The Forum offered a great opportunity for both countries to present different industrial opportunities that they can offer and also exchange expertise in terms of planning new and unique businesses.
The Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry hosted a Gala Dinner attended by Abdulla Gubash and a number of high ranking officials from both sides. He reiterated the value and benefit of bilateral relations between the two countries which have been developing over the past few years, and especially the fact that the UAE is considered a vital strategic partner to South Korea in the Gulf and Middle East.
He expressed his deep appreciation to the South Korean Government for their generosity and excellent hospitality since the arrival of the UAE delegation and he also thanked the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry for supporting the forum from the start. In addition, he appreciated the efforts extended by the Korean Embassy in the UAE for facilitating the travel procedures of the delegation and participants.
“There are more than 300 Korean companies present in the UAE market at this time. This by itself reflects the strategic geographical location of the UAE as a central hub to access MENA markets,” said Gubash. Representatives of UAE participating companies praised the forum for providing them with valuable opportunities to meet with their peers from Korea, and for the opportunity to attract investors to the UAE while presenting the advantages that the UAE enjoys, including its strategic location and the best infrastructure for establishing businesses, while reiterating that the UAE’s non-oil trade between the two countries is increasing steadily.
On another note, an MoU was signed between Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Korean Federation of Small and Medium Businesses and the Korean Exchange Bank during the EP Forum. Representatives from each side expressed their gratitude for this valuable MoU that acknowledges the importance of promoting investment and cooperation to stimulate businesses thus bringing prosperity to the two countries.
The MoU signing was attended by Abdulla Gubash, Minister of State, Abdulla Al Romaithi, the UAE Ambassador to South Korea and Dr. Abdul Salam Al Madani, Executive Chairman of the EP Forum. The MoU intends to increase bilateral investment relations between the UAE and the Republic of South Korea, and also provide consultancy services for small Korean companies who would like to start their business in the UAE.
Ahmad Al Mutaiwei from Drydocks World and Maritime World appreciated the forum, saying: “We are delighted to be part of this endeavor which seeks to encourage UAE-Korea relations. As a well-established international marine service provider, we have been catering to the Korean shipping industry and we are proud to present our diverse and multifarious services including the iconic Dubai Maritime City, a world-class maritime cluster, which provides excellent infrastructure and services to international businesses at the crossroads of Europe, North Africa and Asia. The opportunities for business growth and expansion within a short span of time are immense as there is a seamless support structure and Government support to all business initiatives.” The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and its Group of Companies were among the first companies who registered in the EP Forum from the very beginning. ADNOC proved to be one of the key participants at the EP Forum.
Adel Al Fahim from Bourouge said: “We are here to strengthen the economic business relations between UAE and Korea. The forum was an excellent opportunity for us to reinforce our sustained commitment to enhance our business partnerships with major Korean companies and to demonstrate our mutually successful projects and joint ventures which have been implemented in both countries.” “As one of the world’s major oil and gas companies, ADNOC and its Group of Companies have partnered with a number of big Korean companies to establishing several mega-projects in the UAE. Through our participation, we have had successful meetings with refining and petrochemicals companies from South Korea where we discussed issues of mutual concern focusing on the technical and business changes and the extensive opportunities the Middle East,” continued Mr. Adel.
Emirates Business Women Council, supported by the Abu Dhabi Investment Company, was also present at the EP Forum. A number of businesswomen from the UAE representing the seven Emirates organised a business lunch for Korean businesswomen where they discussed ways of building bridges of cooperation between the two nations.
Mrs. Farida Al Awadi, Vice President of the Emirates Business Women Council, said: “we are pleased to be here in South Korea to represent the UAE businesswomen and the leading role that they play in the economic field in the UAE. We had the chance to present our achievements and the leading positions that women of the UAE hold in both public and private sectors. UAE women have excelled in the business field and they also have their own creative ideas translated into businesses and creative projects, proudly competing with their peers from all over the world.” The UAE delegation and participants unanimously praised the forum after two days of consecutive meetings and discussions with Korean investors and businessmen. They have all agreed that the forum was an excellent start for both sides to exchange ideas and expertise in different economic and trade fields. At the end of the second day, the participants received certificates of appreciation for their attendance and participation at the EP Forum.
Ali Ibrahim, Deputy Director General for Planning and Development Affairs in the Department of Economic Development in Dubai and Dr. Abdul Salam Al Madani, the Executive Chairman of the EP forum delivered the certificates for participants and thanked them for their efforts in evolving the economic and trade sectors in the UAE.