The new Korean Ambassador to Qatar, Kim Chang-mo, expressed keenness to further enhance bilateral cooperation between Korea and Qatar in the field of investment, among other areas as he spoke to local media for the first time yesterday.
Addressing the media at the new Korean embassy, the envoy, who arrived in Qatar three months ago, expressed a desire to continue efforts in furthering the already cordial relations between the two friendly countries.
According to the ambassador, the bilateral trade volume between Korea and Qatar reached $11.7bn in 2017. While Korea’s overall exports to Qatar last year amounted to $435mn, its imports stood at $11.3bn. Among the Korean products exported to Qatar are vehicles, heavy construction equipment, and transformers while its imports from Qatar comprise mostly liquefied natural gas (LNG), crude oil and Naptha.
Qatar is currently the number one supplier of LNG to Korea and in accumulated figures, it is the eighth largest foreign construction market for Korea.
From 2009 to 2017, Qatar invested $593,535 in six projects in Korea in the fields of entertainment, industrial robot, and cosmetics, among others.
“Qatar’s investment in Korea is not so conspicuous. As Korea has many strong areas like ICT, mobile phones, semiconductors, cosmetics and shipbuilding Qatar has a lot of opportunities to invest,” the envoy said.
With Qatar’s continuing efforts on self-sufficiency and food security, Ambassador Chang-mo is open to the possibility of complementary cooperation between the two countries in various areas where Korea has experience and expertise. Aquaculture industry and smart farming are two potential areas of cooperation which the envoy believes Korea can provide Qatar when it comes to its food security efforts.
“I feel, after one year of the blockade, Qatar is more confident. I think they can now overcome this difficulty and can also utilize this crisis as another opportunity to strengthen their industries,” he commented on the ongoing unjust blockade.
Commenting on how the improving relations between North and South Korea will impact South Korea’s relations with other countries, particularly with Qatar, he said, “Qatar has continuously supported South Korea’s efforts for the denuclearisation and bringing peace in the Korean peninsula.”