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S. Korea, UAE forge comprehensive economic partnership pact

S. Korea, UAE forge comprehensive economic partnership pact


South Korea and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) freeing up trade between the two countries Wednesday, as UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan made a state visit to Seoul, Yonhap News Agency reported.

The two countries also signed a memorandum of intent calling for South Korea to build at least six liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers worth some USD 1.5 billion, while the UAE’s sovereign wealth fund and companies reaffirmed their commitment to invest a combined USD 30 billion in South Korea, the report said.

The CEPA is a type of free trade agreement that emphasizes a broader scope of economic cooperation and exchanges in addition to market opening, which requires parliamentary ratification to take effect.

The UAE is the first Arab nation to sign a free trade deal with South Korea. Under the agreement, the two countries will lift tariffs on more than 90 percent of most goods, including cars, auto parts and defense items, over the next 1
0 years. It also includes provisions for opening cultural services and the online game market, according to the report.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s office said the UAE president’s visit upgraded the two nations’ special strategic partnership to a new level to advance economic cooperation in a wide range of areas.

Al Nahyan arrived in Seoul on Tuesday for a two-day state visit to discuss ways to deepen cooperation in trade and investment in a wide range of areas. He is the first UAE president to make a state visit to South Korea.

During Wednesday’s talks attended by senior government and state-run companies, the two sides signed 19 business deals and memorandums of understanding (MOUs) encompassing investment, energy, nuclear power, defense, technology, climate change and cultural exchanges. Specific areas of investment and defense deals were not disclosed due to requests from the UAE side, according to Seoul officials.

Source: Kuwait News Agency