L-R:Dr.Abdul Salam Al Madani,Salem Ahmed Al Suwaidi,Fahad Al Gergawi,Young Kyu Lee,Ali Ibrahim,Ibrahim Al Janahi A press confrence was held today at the Grand Hyatt Dbai to announce the Thitd UAE-Korea Economic Partnership Forum which will be held in Seoul between the 27-28 May 2013. Image Credit: Francois Nel/Gulf News

Dubai: The UAE-South Korea bilateral trade amounted $22 billion and business relations between the two countries are poised for further growth, according to Fahad Al Gergawi, COE of Foreign Direct Investment Office (FDI) in Dubai.

He said this at a press conference here to announce the third UAE-Korea Economic Partnership Forum to be held in Seoul between May 27-28, 2013. with the aim of boosting economic ties and attract more investments opportunities between the two countries.

Out of 200 participants, 80 UAE-based companies will be present out of which 25 companies will be from Dubai.

Pointing to 300 Korean companies registered in the UAE and over 12,000 Korean residents, Al Gergawi 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 $22 billion in 2011 from $19 billion in 2010.”

He remarked that through the UAE, foreign investors could have a wider field to link to over 2.2 billion consumers in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia in the potential of financial services, healthcare, green technologies, transport, tourism and real estate sectors.

Ali Ebrahim, Deputy Director General for Planning and Development Affairs at the DED, said that Korea is the tenth 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,’ he added.

Free zones trade

On the other side, the UAE-South Korea trade through the free zones areas accounted for $2.2 billion of the country’s overall trade in 2012, Ebrahim Al Janahi, the Deputy CEO and CCO of Jafza, said.

“We have 50 Korean companies in Jafza and most of its businesses is related to infrastructure and nuclear energy,” he said.


Real estate sector

Heading to the forum with 12 UAE-based real estate companies, the emirate is trying to boost the realty business between the two countries.

Sultan Bin Mejren, Director General of the Dubai Land Department, said while the real estate investors in Dubai belong to 195 nationalities, the Korean investment in this sector is very marginal and should be enhanced.

The forum will include a trade exhibition featuring a number of meetings and discussions between businessmen and major Korean companies in addition to a number of investors, Dr. Abdul Salam Al Madani, Chairman of Index Holding, said.

The exhibition is also expected to attract a number of companies from different sectors like trade, IT, manufacturing, tourism, healthcare, power, finance, aviation, construction and real estate.