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‘President Moon’s visit to the UAE further upgrades the already close ROK-UAE relations’

기사승인 2018.11.09  12:25:08

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- Discloses Ambassador Al Nuiami of the UAE at an exclusive interview with The Korea Post

By Publisher Lee Kyung-sik with Editors Uhm Jin-ho, Yoon Kyung-sook/Reporters Eric Jeong, Kim Jung-mi, Kim Sua, Shin Jin-seon

Ambassador Abdulla Saif Al Nuaimi of the United Arab Emirates in Seoul said, “The bilateral relations between the UAE and the Republic of Korea has recently witnessed a great leap forward and last March President Moon Jae-in visited the United Arab Emirates and during his visit the bilateral relation was upgraded to a Special Strategic Partnership, a move reflecting the high importance the two countries place to each other.”
This statement was made by Ambassador Al Nuaimi of the UAE at a recent interview with The Korea Post media, established 33 years in 1985 and now operating 3 English and 2 Korean-language media outlets.
Then he stated, “Also during my tenure of office, many agreements and MOU have been signed between the UAE and the Republic of Korea in different areas covering health, public management, small and medium sized corporations, and defense among others.

The Late Shiekh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates

Also I’m very pleased that the first meeting of the defense and diplomatic dialogue on the level of deputy ministers took place on 12th October, 2018, paving the way for deepening the relations between the two friendly countries.”
Earlier in late March this year, President Moon Jae-in visited the UAE, met with the leaders of the country, and further forged the already-close and firm relations between the two countries.

The 100th birth anniversary of Shiekh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Founding Father of the UAE

Moon said, “Korea is to the UAE the best cooperative partner in East Asia, and the UAE is to Korea the best cooperative partner in the Middle East." The remarks came shortly after Moon and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan had agreed to upgrade their countries' relationship to a special strategic partnership in a bilateral summit held here in Abu Dhabi.

In response, according to reports, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi said, “The relationship between our two countries is already very strong and special, but I hope the two countries will not be satisfied but will endlessly study ways to further develop their relationship.”
President Moon was also quoted by the Korean media, including Yonhap, as saying: “The UAE was the first country in the Middle East to establish a special strategic partnership with South Korea. The two countries will become true brothers that look into the next 100 years, just as the name of the 'Akh' unit means (referring to the Korean contingent in the UAE)”
Then Moon stated that Korea and the UAE will expand their cooperation into new areas that would ensure their joint development such as intelligent communication technology when they combine the wisdom of the UAE to invest in future-oriented industries and the advanced technology and capabilities in the information communication sector that South Korea possesses.

President Moon Jae-in (3rd from right) poses with Chairman Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak Abu Dhabi of the Executive Affairs Authority of Abu Dhabi (3rd from left), Ambassador Abdulla Saif Alnuaimi of the UAE in Seoul (second from left) and other Korean and UAE officials at Cheong Wa Dae on Jan. 9. Chief Presidential Secretary Im Jong-seok is seen second from right.

Situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula on the Arabian Gulf and founded through alliance between seven emirates (an emirate means a country ruled by an “emir” (ruler), the UAE is a federation of seven autonomous emirates, the UAE, according to the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has achieved remarkable economic growth over a very short period of time by capitalizing on its rich energy resources including oil reserves which account for roughly 8% of the world’s entire reserve.
Meanwhile, in preparation for an era without oil resources, the UAE is striving to achieve national development by establishing long-term development strategies such as ‘Plan Abu Dhabi 2030’. With basis of such long-term development strategies, the UAE is also practicing industrial diversification promoting policies in the fields of aviation, semiconductor, primary metal, culture, tourism, medical treatment and so on. Moreover, the UAE is also pursuing a new policy paradigm centering on renewable energy and green energy with establishing Masdar City.

President Moon Jae-in (left) with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the UAE Armed Forces.

Since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the Republic of Korea and the United Arab Emirates in 1980, our bilateral relations have witnessed steady growth. In particular, after concluding the nuclear energy contract in 2009, the two countries forged ‘strategic partnership’, which marked the first time for the ROK to do so with a Middle East country, and have enjoyed the ever-close relationship. In the recent years, the bilateral cooperative ties have expanded in all fields such as security cooperation, health and medical treatment, sports, education, and culture, intensifying existing cooperation in the areas of political affairs, economy and energy.
There are growing interests in Korea and Korean culture mainly among younger generations of the UAE. Also, the number of Emirati citizens visiting Korea for tour and medical treatments are increasing.

President Moon Jae-in of Korea is seen 10th from left, front row, at the Baraka power plant in the UAE.

In addition, the number of Korean companies operating in the UAE has reached 200, and the number of the Korean citizens in the UAE have grown dramatically over the past few years, it reached over 12,000 at the end of 2015. In March 2016, Korean Cultural Center was opened in Abu Dhabi which is the first in the Middle East.

Ambassador Al Nuaimi discussed a wide range of topics at the meeting with The Korea Post publisher, editors and reporters. Details of the interview follow:

Question: My hearty congratulations on the National Day of Your esteemed country! Please introduce in full the National Day of your country.
Answer:
On December 2, 2018, the UAE celebrates its 47th National Day. This same day in 1971 marked the establishment of the Emirates, a union that has come to be a leading model of sustainable development, progress and growth in the region and beyond. This year specifically has a special meaning as it coincides with the 100th birth anniversary of Shiekh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the UAE’s Founding Father.

President Moon Jae-in (left) shakes hands with Prime Minister Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of the UAE.

The UAE national day is a glorious occasion for UAE citizens to celebrate their belonging to this land, and express their pride in the developmental strides achieved under the wise leaderships of H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan President of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, as well as Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of Emirates. It’s the leadership, which forever stands ready to invest in its people’s human capital, placing its citizens at the top of its priorities, to achieve distinction, stability and sustainable development.

President Moon Jae-in and and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi of the UAE (second and third from left, front row, respectively) applause at a meeting in the UAE.

Q: Please introduce the Head of Government of your country in detail, including his family and hobbies.

A: The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his fellow founding fathers established the United Arab Emirates in 1971. The path of the founding fathers is now followed by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, who continues to lead the nation’s march to progress and prosperity. The incredible achievements in the UAE in recent years have been made possible in many areas due to the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as well as His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and their fellow members of the Supreme Council and Rulers. They have consistently contributed to developing the country through embracing knowledge and innovation. The leadership here in the UAE is well-known for encouraging the traditional sports among its citizens, mainly falcon hunting, riding horses and camel racing.

Ambassador Abdulla Saif Alnuaimi of the UAE in Seoul (left) is interviewed by Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media, publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean media outlets since 1985.

Q: Please introduce the Government Minister in charge of economic cooperation and trade with Korea and other countries of the world.
A: H.E. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori is the minister of economy in the United Arab Emirates. His Excellency has been appointed as Minister of Economy in the UAE, effective 17th of February, 2008. His Excellency Sultan holds a Bachelor's degree (B. Sc.) in Industrial Engineering & Management Systems from Arizona State University, USA. He also has a Diploma in Computer System Analysis from the Institute of Computer Technology, Los Angeles, California. He is also the head of the UAE - Korean economic committee that meets annually between Abu Dhabi and Seoul.

Ambassador Abdulla Saif Alnuaimi of the UAE at a business forum.

Q: Who are the Korean companies actively contributing to the economic cooperation between the two countries?
A:
Korean companies have a great reputation in the United Arab Emirates. They are very famous for their robust, timely, and flawless work. We prefer working with Korean companies and we would recommend Korean companies to any other friendly country. We has a pleasant experience working with Korean countries in many area such as energy, construction, manufacturing, administration, training, health and many others. We always welcome Medium and small sized Korean companies to work and cooperate with the UAE companies in all fields and we stand ready to provide them with all necessary conditions, especially in the free zones all over the UAE, so as to help them grow and prosper.

Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the UAE Armed Forces (right) shakes hands with visiting Chief Presidential Secretary Im Jong-seok of the Republic of Korea.

Q: Who are the Korean companies actively contributing to the economic cooperation between the two countries?
A
: Korean companies have a great reputation in the United Arab Emirates. They are very famous for their robust, timely, and flawless work. We prefer working with Korean companies and we would recommend Korean companies to any other friendly country. We has a pleasant experience working with Korean countries in many area such as energy, construction, manufacturing, administration, training, health and many others. We always welcome Medium and small sized Korean companies to work and cooperate with the UAE companies in all fields and we stand ready to provide them with all necessary conditions, especially in the free zones all over the UAE, so as to help them grow and prosper.

CEO Suh Moon-dong of Tofield Co. Ltd. (left) and CEO Oh Sung-rok of C&B pose for the camera flanking Chairman Muhammed of Beyond Energy on the left and right, respectively.

Q: What is the current volume of bilateral trade, and its outlooks in the next 12 months?
A:
The bilateral trade between the UAE and Republic of Korea topped $14.2 billion in 2017. It is expected to do well this year based on the good performance it showed in the first half of the year ($7.24 billion).

Q: What are the areas in your country where you want Korean companies to invest and what are the areas where you wish your business companies to invest in Korea?
A:
There are many areas in my country in which Korean enterprises can invest in. These include petrochemicals, alternative and renewable energy, oil and gas, transportation and infrastructure, manufacturing, healthcare and education, defense and aerospace, real estate, tourism, agriculture and water, etc. On the other side, the UAE sovereign funds and enterprises can invest in the Korean market in different fields. They are not restricted to a certain field, products or services. But we would like to focus more on food and beverage sector, transportation, technology and energy.

A consortium agreement is signed between the GS Energy of Korea and the UAE Abu Dhabi Oil Company.

Q: What are the areas in your country where you want Korean companies to invest and what are the areas where you wish your business companies to invest in Korea?
A:
There are many areas in my country in which Korean enterprises can invest in. These include petrochemicals, alternative and renewable energy, oil and gas, transportation and infrastructure, manufacturing, healthcare and education, defense and aerospace, real estate, tourism, agriculture and water, etc. On the other side, the UAE sovereign funds and enterprises can invest in the Korean market in different fields. They are not restricted to a certain field, products or services. But we would like to focus more on food and beverage sector, transportation, technology and energy.

Minister of Economy Sulban Bin Said Al Mansuri of the UAE

Q: Korean business leaders as well as the FTAs want rest and recuperation. What are the attractive tourist destinations of your country?
A:
There are several tourist destinations in the UAE around the year, a fact that makes the country a favorable destination for tourists and businessmen from around the globe. These include beaches famous for their golden sands and clean water, huge shopping centers for tourists coming for shopping, good recreational facilities, several golf resorts, the iced indoor ski resort that provides ski lovers with the opportunity to enjoy it around the year (Ski Dubai), distinguished sports such as falconry and horse and camel rides and racing, sand skiing made available by desert tourism, diving, natural reservoirs such as in Yas island, geographical diversification, theme parks, Yas Marina Circuit, etc.

Deputy Prime Minister Kim Dong-yeon (left) and Minister of Economy Sulban Bin Said Al Mansuri of the UAE shake hands with each other after singing an agreement for bilateral cooperation.

This is made available through active and up-to-date government policies, security and stability, safety, openness to other nations and cultures and religious tolerance, distinguished geographical location, non-requirement or ease of entry visa for many nationals including Koreans who enjoy waiver for 90 days based on the agreement reached between the two counties, airports equipped with the modern facilities and flights that connect major UAE cities with most parts of the world, to name just a few. The Abu Dhabi Louvre is also a famous destination in UAE as it includes thousands of artistic pieces from all around the world. There are many theme parks in the UAE such as the warner Bross Park, zoos and many other entertainment facilities.

Q: Please introduce yourself in detail, including your career, family and hobbies.
A:
I have joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, UAE, in 2016 where I was appointed as Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Korea and officially presented my credentials on 27 December 2016.

President Park Sung-taek of .K-Biz Korea foundation (right) and President of Al Fajer group of UAE

From 1992 to 1997, I joined the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) as a Senior Analyst. In 1997, I was seconded to the Privatization Committee for the Water & Electricity Sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi taking on the role of Director of Independent Water and Power Projects (IWPP).
As part of my responsibilities, I became the first Emirati to preside over a unique UAE privatization enterprise that aims at producing water and electricity in one integrated project. My success with the project was recognized with a number of awards including the MENA energy sector’s coveted Power Personality of the Year 2014. In 2011, I was appointed Managing Director of the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) where I continue to serve as an advisor. In deference to my expertise and leadership in the power and water sectors I have been nominated as Chairman of the board for a number of public and private enterprises in my country. I have also been a board member for some other companies.

Representative of Korea’s Himchan Hospital signs an agreement of cooperation with his UAE counterpart.

I was a member of the Follow-up UAE President's Initiatives Committee until 2014 and President of the Canadian Emirati Businessmen Council. I was shortlisted for the Abu Dhabi Excellence Award, Administrative Sector (2008/2009). In 2011, I was cited by a specialized scientific magazine as one of the most influential 100 persons in the energy sector. After completing my Bachelor Degree in Business Administration at the UAE University in 1992, I attended several graduate courses in the USA. I’m married and father to five children.

Q: Please add whatever other details that we might have left out from our questionnaire.
A:
Thanks to the Korea Post Media for its interest in my country, the UAE and for the efforts it is making to introduce my country to potential Korean businesspeople and tourists.

Ambassador Al Nuaimi of the UAE and Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media (third and fourth from right) pose with The Korea Post interview team. From left, reporter Kim Sua, COO Uhm Jeen-ho, interpreter Abeer Hamady of embassy of UAE, Editor Linda Youn of Korean-language newspaper, Editor Kim Jung-mi of The Korea Post.

Further details of the resume of the Head of Government of the UAE:
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, according to Wikipedia, was born on Sept. 7, 1948. Referred to as Sheikh Khalifa) is known as an Emirati royal politician who is the current President of the United Arab Emirates, the Emir of Abu Dhabi and the Supreme Commander of the Union Defence Force.
Sheikh Khalifa succeeded his father, Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, as Emir of Abu Dhabi on Nob. 2, 2004 and became the President of the Federation the next day. As Crown Prince, he had already been acting as president since the late 1990s while his father was facing health problems. Sheikh Khalifa is also the Chairman of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, which manages US$875 billion in assets, the largest amount managed by a nation's head of state in the world. Collectively, the Al Nahyan family is believed to hold a fortune of $150 billion.

A cultural performance in progress in the UIAE

On Feb. 1, 1969, Sheikh Khalifa was nominated as the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and on the next day he was appointed as the Head of the Abu Dhabi Department of Defense. In that post, he oversaw the building up of the Abu Dhabi Defense Force, which after 1971 became the core of the UAE Armed Forces.
Following the establishment of the UAE in 1971, Sheikh Khalifa assumed several positions in Abu Dhabi: Prime Minister, head of the Abu Dhabi Cabinet (under his father), Minister of Defense, and Minister of Finance. After the reconstruction of the Cabinet of the United Arab Emirates, the abolishment of the Abu Dhabi Cabinet, and the establishment of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi, he became the 2nd Deputy Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (23 December 1973) and the Chairman of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi (20 January 1974), under his father.

Abu dhabi skyline

In May 1976, he became deputy commander of the UAE armed forces, under the President. He also became the head of the Supreme Petroleum Council in the late 1980s, and continues in this position today, which grants him wide powers in energy matters. He was also the chairman of the Environmental Research and Wildlife Development Agency.
He succeeded to the posts of Emir of Abu Dhabi and President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Nov. 3, 2004, replacing his father Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who had died the day before. He had been acting president since his father became ill prior to his passing.

Burj Khalefa

On Dec. 1, 2005, the President announced that half of the members of the Federal National Council (FNC), an assembly that advises the president, would be indirectly elected. However, half of the council's members would still need to be appointed by the leaders of the emirates. The elections were set to take place in December 2006.
In 2011, Khalifa was ranked as the world's fourth-wealthiest monarch, with a fortune estimated to be worth $15 billion.] In 2013, he commissioned Azzam, the longest motor yacht ever built at 590 ft (180 m) long, with costs between US$400–600 million.

Atlantis Dubai, a resort in Dubai

In Fall 2011, the Emirates initiated a program to promote "allegiance" to Khalifa and other Emirati leaders. The program continues, and encourages not only Emirati nationals, but residents from any nationality to register their "appreciation, recognition, and loyalty" to the Emirs.

Saharjh City

Uhm Jeen-ho edt@koreapost.com

<저작권자 © 코리아포스트 무단전재 및 재배포금지>
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