UAE-Korea cooperation to support smart city markets - GulfToday

UAE-Korea cooperation to support smart city markets


Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed looks on as Yoon Suk Yeol greets Emariti children at Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. WAM

Korea-UAE cooperation in clean energy will help stabilise global energy market, Yoon Suk Yeol, President of the Republic of Korea, said, adding that both countries together could contribute to global smart market as well.

In statements published during his current state visit to the UAE, the Korean President detailed on bilateral cooperation in economy, climate action, energy transition, hydrogen and smart farms, in the context of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ASDW), an annual global event for accelerating the world’s sustainable development; and COP 28.

“We will support the success of the UAE’s hosting of COP 28 [the UN Climate Conference to be held in Dubai] at the end of this year and work together in that regard,” he stressed.

He said bilateral talks during his visit focus on four key areas such as nuclear power plants, energy, investment, and defence industry.

Emphasising that infrastructure cooperation in large-scale construction is the driving force behind economic development of Korea and the UAE, President Yoon revealed that “approximately 30 percent of the overseas orders our construction companies received in 2022 were from the Middle East.”

Relations with the UAE and other Gulf countries are crucial for Korea’s energy security with over 50 percent of its oil imports coming from the Gulf, said the President who also detailed about the ongoing talks on Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

The Korean President’s statements run as follows: “I am very pleased that I have finally met with President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of UAE, in person during my visit. I look forward to the two of us building a solid friendship and trust.”

My current visit carries a special meaning, in particular because it is the first state visit since the UAE and the Republic of Korea established diplomatic relations in 1980.

Our discussions during the summit focus on how to enhance strategic cooperation in four key areas: nuclear power plants, energy, investment, and defence industry.

Also on the table are ways to elicit forward-looking cooperation across all sectors where our two countries can create synergy, including climate change responses, science and technology, future new industries, and healthcare as well as cultural and people-to-people exchanges. The potential for Korea-UAE cooperation will be substantial, and doors for bilateral cooperation will be left wide open in all available areas.

As I am accompanied by a huge delegation of over 100 Korean business leaders, in addition to key government officials, I am convinced that the scheduled summit will serve as an important opportunity to produce significant results that further advance bilateral relations and to take the relationship between our two countries to a new level.

This year’s COP28 will, for the first time, assess the progress of joint efforts to reach the Paris Agreement Goals by conducting the global stocktake (GST). It will mark a crucial turning point for further strengthening of climate action worldwide.

In particular, the UAE, a leading oil producer, became the first country in the Middle East to declare its carbon neutrality goal and is pursuing a transition to a clean-energy-focused economic and industrial structure. In this regard, it is incredibly symbolic that the UAE is hosting COP28 this year.

The ADSW has been held since 2008 as a venue to gather the wisdom of experts on technology development and international cooperation from around the world for the transition to clean energy. Therefore, the event is expected to be a bridgehead that secures the success of COP28.

Korea and the UAE have maintained a long-standing strategic partnership, and I intend to use my upcoming visit as an opportunity to expand our countries’ friendly cooperation to encompass our efforts to achieve carbon neutrality and strengthen climate action among the world’s nations.

The leap forward in bilateral cooperation that our countries saw with the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant will be expanded to all sectors related to a fair and sustainable clean energy transition, including renewable energy, hydrogen, and carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS). In doing so, we will jointly enhance the stability of the energy market in both countries and across the globe as well as identify new economic opportunities.

In addition, when the UAE’s experience in constructing and operating Masdar City [one of the world’s most sustainable urban communities] is combined with Korea’s world-class IT, infrastructure building and green technology, our two countries are expected to produce significant achievements in the global smart city market.


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