Mohammed for historic visit to South Korea

SEOUL — His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, will arrive here this afternoon to begin a high-profile two-day state visit to South Korea.

By Neville Parker (Deputy Editor)

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Published: Mon 21 May 2007, 8:48 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:26 AM

Officials on both sides are viewing the visit as a landmark step in UAE-South Korean relations and are confident it will contribute immensely towards enhancing the already close bilateral relations and trade ties that exist between the two countries.

Shaikh Mohammed is accompanied by a high-level delegation that includes Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of Economy; Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Head of Dubai Civil Aviation Department and Chairman of Emirates Group; Shaikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Free Zone Technology and Media Authority; Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs; Shaikh Dhiab bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority; Dr Mohammed Khalfan bin Kharbash, Minister of State for Financial and Industrial Affairs; Mohammed bin Dhhen Al Hamili, Minister of Energy; Mohammed Hussain Al Shaali, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs; Sultan Ahmad bin Sulayem, Chairman of D P World; and Mohamed Ali Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties.

A warm welcome awaits Shaikh Mohammed when he arrives in the South Korean capital, Seoul, this afternoon. During his two-day visit, he is scheduled to hold talks with South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and Prime Minister Han Duck-soo.

This evening Shaikh Mohammed, whose delegation also includes many business leaders and a large media contingent, is scheduled to attend a meeting with South Korean businessmen while tomorrow the UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister will hold talks with the South Korean President and Prime Minister.

The two countries, which established official diplomatic relations in 1980, have now emerged as major hubs of economic development in their respective regions and the volume of bilateral trade between the two has also kept pace and grown steadily.

Shaikh Mohammed's momentous visit will further enhance these bilateral relations and open up a wide range of economic and other opportunities for both countries in various sectors.

This vibrant synergy is further bound to ensure mutual gains for the UAE and South Korea as they pursue a common agenda of common interest. There is a heightened sense of optimism on both sides as top UAE and South Korean leaders confer with each other and the visiting UAE delegation members also interact with their counterparts in Seoul.

The two-day state visit is also certain to offer a new impetus to expanding the scope and range of economic and trade ties between the two countries, which will be mutually beneficial for both the governmental and private sectors.

There are already a large number of major Korean companies and firms operating in the UAE and the new opportunities that are coming up here will further boost both investments and enterprise as the Emirates positions itself as a regional leader.

On the other hand, South Korea that has already built up its reputation in various key sectors such as high technology, IT and the vital construction sector equally has many opportunities to offer UAE businessmen and investors.

Given the close rapport the two countries share, coupled with the dynamic effort to further enhance mutual cooperation and trade ties, the perception on both sides is that the UAE and South Korea are poised to usher in a new era in their bilateral relationship — one in which it is a win-win situation for both nations.

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