UAE, South Korea Sign 23 Bilateral Trade Agreements

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The UAE and South Korea have signed 23 trade and investment agreements to bring businesses in the two countries closer together and mutually benefit from each other’s expertise.

Attending the UAE-Korea Business Forum in Abu Dhabi, Yoon Suk-yeol, President of the Republic of Korea, encouraged Emirati investors to benefit from Korean investment opportunities and expertise in vital sectors, affirming his country’s commitment to enhancing economic cooperation and partnerships with the UAE, its strategic partner in the Middle East.

The forum, attended by Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy; Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State; Abdulla Mohamed Al Mazrui, Chairman of UAE Chambers and Abu Dhabi Chamber, also included presentations by several officials from both countries on significant investment opportunities in several vital sectors, as well as bilateral meetings.

Al Marri stated: “The UAE and Korea have always shared warm and friendly ties, and the vitality of our relationship is reflected in the increased trade volume between our countries, the rise in investment flows and the movement of people, professionals and entrepreneurs. For example, in 2022, there was a 20.4% growth in the volume of non-oil trade exchanges between the two countries during the first nine months of the year compared to the same period in 2021, reaching almost US$4 billion.

“At the same time, UAE’s non-oil exports to Korea grew from US$450 million in the first nine months of 2021 to $560 million in the first nine months of 2022 – an impressive 24% growth, while re-exports witnessed 14% growth.”

“The Korea-UAE Business Forum is an excellent opportunity to discuss the strengthening of the existing economic partnership between the UAE and South Korea in the coming stage, at a time when the global economy is undergoing important changes and the UAE is accelerating its transition to a new economic model,” he added.

In his opening speech, Abdulla Mohamed Al Mazrui said: “The forum represents an exceptional opportunity for participants from the public and private sectors to exchange experiences, explore opportunities for cooperation, and build strategic partnerships in sectors of common interest.”

He also highlighted the two countries’ plans to shape a better future and build upon the unique achievements in various vital economic sectors, including energy, infrastructure, biology, medicine, space, defence, and future technology.”

South Korea is a member of the RCEP Free Trade Agreement which also includes Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The UAE is a member of the Greater Arab Free Trade Area Agreement (GAFTA), giving it free trade access to markets in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Palestine, Syria, Libya, and Yemen. Additionally, within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) framework, the UAE has signed Free Trade Agreements with New Zealand, Singapore, and EFTA countries. Negotiations are currently underway with several countries and trade groups, including the European Union, Japan, China, Korea, Australia, Pakistan, India, Turkey, and the Mercosur member countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay).

Dezan Shira & Associates maintains an office in Dubai. South Korean investors interested in the UAE and Arabic markets may contact us at dubai@dezshira.com or visit www.dezshira.com

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