Minister of Commerce and Industry H E Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari said yesterday that the Qatari-Korean Business Forum presents an important opportunity to consolidate cooperation between the private sectors in both countries and to build successful investment partnerships that serve the shared aspirations and interests of both nations.
H E Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari and Sung Yun-Mo, South Korea’s Minister of Trade, Industry, and Energy, inaugurated yesterday the Qatari-Korean Business Forum held in conjunction with the fifth meeting of the high-level strategic cooperation committee between Qatar and Korea in Doha.
H E Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari said Qatar’s partnership with South Korea serves as a model for Qatar’s economic relations worldwide, noting that the two countries have enjoyed an advanced level of bilateral cooperation over four decades. The strength of this relationship has been marked by the exchange of official visits, particularly the visit of Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to Seoul this year and the visit of South Korea’s Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon to Doha last July.
The growth in Qatari-Korean bilateral trade and investments demonstrate the strength of bilateral economic relations and their promising prospects, H E the Minister said, noting that South Korea ranks as Qatar’s second-largest trading partner with $15.1bn worth of traded goods in 2018. South Korea accounted for 12.95 percent of Qatar’s total trade volume last year.
H E the Minister said more than 37 fully owned Korean companies are currently operating in Qatar in the trade, contracting, construction and information technology fields in addition to 140 joint Qatari-Korean firms.
South Korea represents an attractive destination for Qatari investments in vital industries and economic activities, H E the Minister said.
H E the Minister emphasized Qatar’s keenness to support the economies of its strategic partners and to promote the exchange of expertise in sectors that would serve Qatar’s developmental trends, especially in industrial and technological sectors, which are key contributors to South Korea’s growth and advanced ranking on several international reports.
H E the Minister praised the progress that experts made during the fifth meeting of the high-level strategic cooperation committee between Qatar and Korea, which contributed to strengthening ties across various fields. H E the Minister touched on Qatar’s success in recent years in implementing major development projects, which have cemented its position as one of the region’s most stable, competitive and growth-oriented economies. H E the Minister expressed hope that the forum will incentivize businessmen to enhance joint cooperation and take advantage of positive investment climate to establish strategic projects that will benefit both nations.
Sheikh Dr. Khalid bin Thani Al Thani, Second Deputy to the Chairman of the Qatari Businessmen Association also attended the forum.
Sheikh Dr. Khalid bin Thani Al Thani said that Qatar’s economic progress has proved to be sustainable despite all the changes and the regional and global challenges, explaining that it is supported by attractive investment incentives provided by the State to foreign investors, such as the new investment law, which allows full ownership in most economic sectors. He also mentioned about the logistical elements such as the single window and the free zones that help the foreign investors in establishing their business in Doha, in addition to world-class facilities such as Hamad International Airport and Hamad Port.
Sheikh Dr. Khalid bin Thani Al Thani called on Korean investors to benefit from the promising opportunities and favorable environment provided by the Qatari economy in various sectors and participate in achieving the desired economic diversification goals. He said the meeting will help in opening new avenues of cooperation, attracting investors from both sides, identifying available investment opportunities and working side by side to achieve the economic interests of both countries.
He said that Qatar is proud of having the Republic of Korea, the main industrial and economic artery in Asia and the world, as one of its most important trading partners. Mohammed bin Ahmed bin Towar Al Kuwari, First Vice-Chairman of Qatar Chamber, and Kim Jun-dong, Executive Vice-Chairman of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and representatives of major Qatari and Korean companies from various industries also attended.