Third UAE-Korea Economic Partnership Forum to open in May

Forum to open in Seoul with active participation from UAE

An official media conference was held today at the Grand Hyatt Dubai to announce the Third UAE-Korea Economic Partnership Forum, which will be held in Seoul on May 27-28, 2013.

The forum is held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and supported by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Department of Economic Development, Dubai FDI and organized by Index Conferences and Exhibition Organisation Est.

The press conference was attended by Sultan Butti Bin Mejren, Director General of the Government of Dubai Land Department, Ali Ibrahim, Deputy Director General for Planning and Development Affairs in the Department of Economic Development, Fahad Al Gergawi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai FDI, Ibrahim Al Janahi, the Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Commercial Officer of Jafza, Sharif Habib al-Awadhi, Director-General of the Fujairah Free Zone Authority, Hassan Al Zaabi, Head of Events & Activities at MOFA, H.E. Abdulla Sultan Abdulla, Federation of UAE Chamber of Commerce, Ahmed Ali Suwaid, Deputy Director at RAK trade free zone, Young Kyu Lee, Chairman of Korean Association in UAE, Mohamed Salim Al Mahmoud, Senior Marketing & Sales Officer at Sharjah Airport International Free Zone Authority, Saleh Ahmed Al Suwaidi, Deputy Director Economic Affairs Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Dr. Abdul Salam Al Madani, Chairman of Index Holding.

The forum aims to build special economic partnerships with South Korea and develops strong relationships in different sectors to attract more investment opportunities between the two countries, in addition to enhancing the bilateral cooperation in different fields, increase the volume of investment opportunities and also benefit from the investment opportunities that the forum will offer to the private and public sectors and the free zones in the country.

Dr. Abdul Slam Al Madani, Chairman of Index Holding opened the press conference by welcoming all attendees and representatives of ministries and official departments and extended his gratitude for their permanent support for this effective strategic economic forum between the UAE mirates and South Korea.

He said: “The third UAE – Korea Economic Partnership Forum will create greater awareness among the business sector in South Korea on the role that the United Arab Emirates plays on the regional and international level and in the fields of trade, investment, and in strengthening the position of the United Arab Emirates as a center for trade and business in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. The forum is a great opportunity for both countries to explore their different industries and to initiate cooperation through new and unique businesses. “

Dr. Al Madani added: “We are working diligently through this forum to establish strong business relationship with the private sector and the economic organizations and agencies in South Korea, in addition to find a suitable investment environment to transport ultimate ideas  for companies and organizations in both countries where they can exchange expertise and enhance joint efforts through better development.”

The third UAE – Korea Economic Partnership Forum seeks to strengthen the joint efforts by the government of the UAE to promote and activate the business and economic partnership with South Korea, and this forum is a joint effort to strengthen bilateral relations between the UAE and South Korea and is an excellent platform to exchange innovations and developments in different business areas.

The forum also focuses on raising awareness and highlighting the Korean commercial sectors and strengthening the trade relations between the two countries by highlighting the leading role played by the United Arab Emirates, regionally and globally, where the United Arab Emirates owns many vital and sustainable projects throughout the world, and today it is a pioneer leader in the Middle East market.

Ali Ibrahim, Deputy Director General for Planning and Development Affairs in the Department of Economic Development, Dubai, said: “South Korea is not only a vibrant economy but also a strategic partner for the UAE in vital sectors. There are further avenues where the UAE and South Korea can create game-changing synergies and Dubai particularly sees immense opportunities in South Korea’s cutting-edge technology, as well as its focus on innovation and small and medium enterprises, all of which can be competitively expanded through Dubai. The Department of Economic Development believes the UAE-South Korea Economic Partnership Forum will be an effective knowledge-sharing platform for investors and businesses on both sides.”

Abdulla Sultan Abdulla, Secretary General of the Federation of UAE Chamber of Commerce, said: “After the great success that the UAE – Korea Economic Partnership Forum achieved back in 2006 and 2007 in Seoul, a lot of governmental authorities, organizations and businessmen were keen to participate in the coming edition. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude and appreciation for all of the supporters and organizers of this forum in its new edition which symbolizes the excellent relationships between South Korea and the UAE.

“This excellent relationship witnessed rapid development during the past few years covering different fields including economy and technology, and this classifies the UAE as an important trading partner with the Republic of Korea in the GCC and the Middle East. The foreign trade between South Korea and the UAE was registered at Dh23.7 billion at a rate of 2.6 per cent of the total non-oil trade of the UAE with the world during 2011, and South Korea was ranked tenth in the geographical structure of the total non-oil foreign trade of the UAE.”

He said: “The importance of this event lies in the direct and indirect opportunities it promises for the companies, economic institutions and investors who are taking part in this event. The forum also will shed the light on the potential economic productivity and employment opportunities in each country in order to activate the investment in joint projects. This forum has the full support of the Federation of UAE Chamber of Commerce and other governmental associations in the UAE and South Korea, especially that the UAE now has the expertise, the infrastructure and a lot of investment opportunities and those features undoubtedly allow more opportunities for cooperation and investment between the two countries under the strategic geographical location of the country.”

Fahad Al Gergawi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai FDI, said: “South Korean firms and investors have been pioneers in leveraging Dubai’s advantages as a regional hub. Non-oil trade between Dubai and South Korea grew steadily during the past decade and climbed to Dh22 billion in 2011, from Dh19 billion in 2010. With financial services, healthcare, and green technologies fast-emerging in Dubai along with fresh optimism across the transport, tourism and real estate sectors, foreign investors have a wider field to link to over 2.2 billion consumers in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.”.

He added: “Dubai was ranked 33rd in the 2012 “Doing Business Report” of the World Bank and 27th in the Global Competitiveness ranking for 2011-2012. It has also been ranked as the top Middle Eastern city in Mercer’s quality of life index.”

According to the latest official reports from the Dubai Economic Council, South Korea is one of the fastest growing markets in Asia. South Korea is now in the 15th place worldwide due to its local production which exceeded trillion dollars in 2011. The UAE is the second largest economic partner for Korea in the Middle East and North Africa, and is one of the largest global markets importing Korean merchandise worldwide.

The forum will also include a trade exhibition that will feature a number of meetings and discussions between businessmen and major Korean companies in addition to a number of investors. The exhibition is also expected to attract a number of companies from different sectors like the trade sector, IT, Manufacturing, Tourism, Healthcare, Power, Finance, Aviation, Construction and Real Estate.

Dr. Al Madani, while highlighting the exhibition, said: “The South Korean Economy is very stable and this is one of the most attractive points that encouraged us to organize this outstanding exhibition, moreover, there are the excellent relationships between the two countries. There will be more than 100 exhibiting companies and governmental authorities participating from the UAE and it is expected to attract more than 3,000 businessmen and investors from South Korea.”

A number of official departments and governmental authorities already confirmed their participation in the forum, worth mentioning: JAFZA, the Fujairah Free Zone Authority, Sharjah Airport International Free Zone,  Fujairah Chamber of Commerce, RAK trade free zone, Dubai Land Department -Dubai Customs, Drydocks World and Maritime World, Dubai Economic Department to name a few.

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