UAE, S Korea sign nuclear deal
ABU DHABI - UAE President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and visiting South Korean President Lee Myung-bak attended today the signing of a series of landmark cooperation agreements between the UAE and South Korea.
The two presidents patronised a grand ceremony for striking a Dh 75 billion contract between the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and a consortium of South Korean and US companies led by Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) to design, build and help operate and maintain four civil nuclear power plants for the United Arab Emirates peaceful nuclear energy program.
The joint cooperation agreements were inked by UAE Foreign Minister His Highness Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and South Korea Minister of Knowledge Economy Choi Kyung-hwan.
The agreements cover a framework protocol for boosting economic partnership to further strengthen bilateral cooperation. Under the agreement, the two countries will set up a higher committee and a number of sub-committees to facilitate cooperation in diverse fields as peaceful nuclear energy, renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainability, information technology and communications, semi-conductors, shipbuilding and human resources development.
Towards enforcing the framework agreement, the two sides also sealed three complementary agreements including a memorandum of understanding between Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) and Korean Ministry of Knowledge Economy for facilitating joint cooperation in renewable energy.
A multi-lateral agreement on education and human resources development was concluded between Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research (KUSTAR) and Institute of Applied Technology and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Korea Electric Power Corporation, Human Resources Development Service of Korea (HRD) and Korea Development Institute.
The Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Centre and Korea Development Institute reached an agreement for exchange of information and communications technology.
In a statement after the ceremony, the UAE President said relations of friendship between the UAE and South Korea were progressing steadily and hoped these new agreements would take a qualitative leap in bonds between the two friendly countries.
“Our relationship with South Korea, which has seen sustained growth in recent years, has ushered into a new era of strategic partnership which will serve interest of the two countries,” Shaikh Khalifa said.
As he welcomed his Korean counterpart, Shaikh Khalifa hoped his visit would further bolster joint cooperation in various domains.
For his part, the Korean head of state said he was grateful to the UAE for awarding the multi-billion contract to the consortium of Korean companies
and for forging strategic partnership with his country. He pledged to maximise efforts to push bilateral relations ahead.
UAE Foreign Minister His Highness Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said:
'As negotiations between the UAE and South Korea on peaceful nuclear energy advanced, the two governments discovered the huge potentials for joint cooperation in various fields.'
South Korea Minister of Knowledge Economy Choi Kyung-hwan expected the agreement on economic partnership to lay a solid foundation for expanding bilateral cooperation which is based on energy and resources. He hoped the said partnership would expand to include communications technology and renewable energy.
Two-way trade exchange in the last five years had doubled to Dh 92 billion in 2008. With these new agreements, the trade exchange is projected to surge.
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