South Korea secures $30 billion UAE investment and vows to help shore up supply chains at WEF

Hong Kong/Seoul

South Korean leaders are closing out a whirlwind week after securing tens of billions of dollars of investment from the Middle East and pledging South Korea to play a more prominent role in revitalizing international supply chains.

On Monday, South Korean President Yoon Seok-yeol announced that the United Arab Emirates had pledged a staggering $30 billion in investments to the Asian country.

The news was a landmark visit to mark the first-ever state visit by a South Korean president to the UAE after the leaders of the two countries held talks in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, according to a statement from Yoon’s office.

The investment aims to strengthen cooperation in the fields of nuclear, hydrogen, solar energy and defense, along with an agreement to form a “special strategic partnership” at the highest level, the statement said.

Yoon said a delegation of South Korean big names, including billionaire leaders of Samsung, Hyundai Motor (HYMTF) and SK Group, was in the region. In total, about 100 South Korean business representatives traveled with the president, according to the Blue House.

During the four-day visit, 20 agreements worth $6.1 billion covering nuclear, defense and green energy were signed. It was signed by both companies, according to the South Korean government.

some Korean companies They also agreed to build tomato and strawberry farms in the UAE, which relies heavily on agricultural imports.

The series of deals comes just days before Yun spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on the importance of fixing global supply chains.

“The most urgent challenge of our time is to strengthen the resilience of supply chains based on mutual solidarity,” he said in a speech Thursday, adding that the world’s food, energy, computer chips, vaccines, You mentioned recent disruptions in the supply of medicines.

“Pandemics, geopolitical conflicts, struggles for technological supremacy and the weakening of the multilateral trading system have disrupted and restructured global supply chains,” Yun continued, noting that the war in Ukraine has exacerbated the situation. added.

The president said the issue has led to a “tendency to form blocs between nations” and international cooperation “to be seen as a package deal”.

“Building walls and increasing protectionism is not the right answer,” Yoon added.

In the future, South Korea will become an important partner in global supply chains, pledging to use its expertise in areas such as semiconductors and steel to help stabilize supply chains. We will coordinate and cooperate with countries that can.”

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