LONDON: South Korean president Moon Jae-in’s four-day trip to the UAE could help pave the way for up to $25 billion worth of new energy deals signed between the two countries, according to local press reports.
The $25 billion figure was reported in the Korean Herald, which cited officials from the South Korean presidential office. There are as yet no further details on which projects this money would be funding. The president’s office has not responded immediately to Arab News’ request for comment.
President Moon Jae-in and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan also agreed on Monday to upgrade their already long-standing relationship to a “special strategic partnership” which has laid the ground for further investment between the two countries.
“The UAE is the first Middle Eastern country with which Korea has made a ‘special strategic partnership,’” Moon Jae-in said in an official statement from the president’s office.
“I hope that Crown Prince Mohammed will join our efforts to open a path to make our existing bilateral ties expand across various areas.”
The South Korean leader attended a ceremony on 26 March which marked the completion of the UAE’s Barakah nuclear reactor — the first of its kind in the Arab world.
The reactor is one of four to be built with the support of a consortium led by Korea Electric Power Corp. The Koreans won the contract in 2009.
A number of other deals were struck and preliminary agreements signed during the visit, pledging further collaboration between the two countries.
On 26 March, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) signed two contracts worth up to $3.5 billion with South Korea’s Samsung Engineering for work at ADNOC’s Ruwais oil refinery, according to the UAE’s official news agency, WAM.
The Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Korea Energy Agency on Tuesday for further collaboration on renewable energy investment.
The South Korean leader met with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on Tuesday, according to WAM, where they also discussed investment ties between the UAE and South Korea.