His Excellency Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, met with His Excellency Sang-Jik Yoon, Minister of Commerce and Industry of South Korea, seeking to promote cooperation between the two countries in the manufacturing and trade sectors for the mutual benefit of both nations.
The meeting was held on the sidelines of the fourth UAE-Korea Joint Economic Committee Meeting, which ended in Seoul on April 30, 2014.
During the meeting, His Excellency Al Mansouri highlighted the UAE’s keenness to implement the latest technology and raise know-how in the country’s industrial sector through leveraging the experiences of advanced industrial countries such as South Korea. He pointed out that such partnerships would enhance the UAE’s productivity and boost its international competitiveness, in line with the UAE’s Vision 2021 to drive the country’s non-oil economic growth and achieve sustainable economic development.
His Excellency Al Mansouri said, “The UAE is implementing an ambitious growth strategy to enhance the role of the industrial sector in the economic framework and increase its contribution to the GDP. He added that the UAE recognizes the crucial importance of the industrial sector in the nation’s performance.” He stated, “The sector’s contribution, which is currently pegged at 10-14% of the UAE’s GDP, is steadily rising.”
Al Mansouri applauded the constructive trade cooperation between the UAE and Korea, pointing out that the UAE is currently the largest trading partner of the Republic of South Korea from the MENA region as well as the second largest supplier of oil. Highlighting the vast potential for bilateral trade, the Minister said it would require sustained efforts by both countries to strengthen this cooperation and further increase trade volumes.
On his part, His Excellency Sang-Jik Yoon pledged Korea’s industrial and technical expertise in supporting the development of the UAE and shaping a knowledge-based economy within the country.
Commending the UAE for ranking 23rd from among 189 countries in the Global Competitiveness Report, His Excellency Sang-Jik Yoon, said, “His country is keen to benefit from the UAE’s vast experience in implementing international best business practices.”
The Seoul Technopark visit
The UAE delegation undertook field visits to gain greater insights into South Korea’s technological expertise. One of the most important visits was made to the Seoul Technopark, a hi-tech park that hosts factories, laboratories, research centers, and modern technology hubs.
His Excellency Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri and the accompanying delegation were briefed on the operations of the Seoul Technopark and its contribution to supporting the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Korea.
During the visit to the Seoul Technopark, His Excellency Al Mansouri, said, “The Ministry of Economy is keen to understand the international best practices applied at the park, especially with regard to innovation that has been identified as an area of focus for the UAE for 2014-2016. During this period, the Ministry of Economy will establish a center for innovation and is currently identifying and analyzing best practices from developed countries.”
His Excellency Al Mansouri stressed, “The existence of centers specialized in innovation will support the country’s efforts and vision for economic diversification and promote a knowledge-based economy. He said that such initiatives were expected to raise the contribution of the industrial sector to the UAE’s GDP by 5% by the year 2021.”
The Minister also completed the groundwork for the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Seoul Technopark for the transfer of knowledge and expertise, focusing on its initiatives to support SME development. During its tour of Seoul’s Technopark, the delegation was briefed on the business incubator in the Technopark Oasis that comprises over 50 Korean companies.
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Nael Abdul Aziz