UAE, S Korea eager to strengthen economic ties

Filed on December 26, 2009

ABU DHABI - The United Arab Emirates and South Korea are seeking to bolster their economic ties in different fields, including partnerships in renewable energy, as well as cooperation in implementation of the green economy concepts, peaceful nuclear energy, reducing carbon emissions and increasing trade exchange.

According to a report released by the Korean embassy in Abu Dhabi to mark the visit of President Lee Myung-bak to the UAE, export from Korea to the UAE grew by 55.2% in 2008 with most of the top export products gaining large trade volume. The top export products were passenger cars, wireless phone and electric wire.

In 2006, Exports from Korea to the UAE increased at an average of 6% which in turn shot up to 27 % in 2007. The total Korean export volume to the UAE was valued at US$3,705 Million in 2007.

Import from the UAE to Korea grew by 52.1% in 2008 with the biggest import product gaining large trade volume. The top import products were crude petroleum, naphtha and LPG. Import from the UAE to Korea increased at an average of 29.1% in 2006.

South Korea is becoming an important middle-ranking power in global affairs. It has become the world’s 11th-largest economy; Seoul will host next year’s G-20 summit; it has become the home of world-famous brands and a leader in the adoption of the Internet and information technology; South Korea also developed a democratic political system; human rights are well protected, as is freedom of speech; and finally, there is the attractiveness of South Korean culture: the traditions of Korean art, crafts, and cuisine, which are spreading around the world.

Often called the “Miracle on the Han River”, South Korea’s tremendous economic growth was fueled by the export of high-tech goods. The South Korean economy continues to grow at a very fast pace, having one of the highest GDP, export and industrial production growth rate in the developed world. Today, South Korea is leading several key industries in the world, particularly in the fields of science and technology. The Asian Tiger’s strongest industries are automobiles, biotechnology, construction, computers, electronics, petrochemicals, robotics, semiconductors, shipbuilding, and steel.

In 2006, the South Korean economy has brought its growth rate to 5.1%.

Like other developed nations, the service sector has grown to compose about two-thirds of GDP. At the same time, living standards and in particular the education level in South Korea rose exponentially to become equivalent or higher than that of other developed Western European and North American countries, with South Korea’s HDI being rated at “High” with 0.921 by the Human Development Index in 2007, owning a 99.8% adult literacy rate. In the most recent Quality-of-Life survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, South Korea came 30th, only one rank below the United Kingdom.

During this period, South Korean workers’ income and wealth increased considerably, leading labor-intensive industries to move to neighboring developing countries, such as China or Vietnam.

South Korea has become the world’s leader in the semiconductor, such as RAM and flash memory, and digital display, such as LCD and plasma panels, industries, as well as consumer electronics such as TVs or mobile phones.

Telecommunication technology thrived in South Korea as it became the most wired country in the world, having the second highest broadband users worldwide. Nationwide 100 Mbit/s High-Speed Internet Access, Interactive Full High Definition TV Broadcasting, DMB, WiBro and 4G technology rolled out since 2000, which are a few of the nation’s plans to set benchmarks in the global information technology industry.

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