HE Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy and Chairman of Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC), received a high-ranking delegation from the Republic of Korea, led by HE Kim Dong-yeon, Minister of Strategy and Finance and Deputy Prime Minister to explore boosting trade and economic ties in emerging sectors, as well as opportunities for collaboration across all areas of Islamic economy.
The two parties also discussed the diverse existing partnerships between the UAE and Korea, specifically those in the field of innovation, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and intellectual property.
The attendees examined plans to expand bilateral relations through focusing on high-priority sectors of common interest. They also reviewed the key role of the UAE-Korea Economic Joint Committee, which held its sixth meeting in Seoul in February 2018, in diversifying partnerships to include sectors such as renewable energy, civil aviation, infrastructure, manufacturing, healthcare, and education.
During the meeting, Korean officials were briefed on the Islamic economy and the promising opportunities it offers, the UAE’s strides in developing its capabilities in the field, as well as areas of potential partnership, particularly in the halal and Islamic finance space.
“Bilateral ties between the UAE and South Korea have always been very strong, and today our two nations are ready to take their relationship to the next level with a strategic partnership based on shared interests that focus on achieving our ambitious development goals,” said Al Mansouri.
In this context, he referred to the bolstering of bilateral relations during the meeting of the UAE-Korea Economic Joint Committee in Seoul in February 2018.
Al Mansouri added that there are growing prospects for cooperation with South Korea in the SMEs and entrepreneurship field, and for developing new channels of communication and exchange of knowledge about the success of Korean start-ups and innovation-based projects. He reiterated the importance of stepping up joint efforts to boost the growth of fintech and the implementation of emerging technologies in the financial sector.
HE Kim Dong-yeon highlighted South Korea’s desire to benefit from the UAE’s expertise through exchanging best practices, knowledge, and experience in areas of shared interest, and expressed interest in exploring opportunities for cooperation in the Islamic economy. He also pointed out the merits of Islamic finance, specifically sukuk, as a key sector in advancing Islamic economy, adding that South Korea is examining the legislative requirements for entering the field.
For his part, HE Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar briefed the audience on DIEDC’s 2017-2021 strategy that revolves around three focus sectors – Islamic finance, halal, and Islamic lifestyle that encompasses culture, arts, and family-friendly tourism. He also offered an overview of the Centre’s achievements, initiatives and programmes that enhance the UAE’s Islamic economy expertise.
HE Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of DIEDC briefed the visiting delegates on the findings of the State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2017/18, issued by DIEDC in collaboration with Thomson Reuters—the value of the assets of the Islamic finance sector amounted to $2.2 trillion in 2016 and is expected to reach approximately $3.8 trillion by 2022. In addition, he highlighted the prospects in the Islamic banking and finance sector, especially in sukuk issuance, which is witnessing significant growth in non-Muslim markets such as Hong Kong, the UK, Luxembourg, and South Africa.
“There are great opportunities to build synergies with South Korea, especially in fields related to sukuk and halal. We are confident this visit will expand horizons for further collaboration between South Korea and the UAE,” said Al Awar.
The meeting highlighted the significance of the official visit of Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea, to the UAE that is currently underway.