South Korean firms expanding in Abu Dhabi

South Korean firms expanding in Abu DhabiAbu Dhabi is attracting South Korean investment

South Korean firms are looking to increase their hold on Abu Dhabi's industrial sector, reports The National.

The theme for the Asian nation's ties with Abu Dhabi, announced at a forum on UAE-Korean commercial ties in the capital, comes a year after Korean companies' best year in the Middle East, particularly the UAE.

South Korean firms have built essential parts of Abu Dhabi's energy architecture, including oil platforms, refineries and the city's first new nuclear power stations.

The country's experience of developing a fast-growing economy without natural resources by developing its human capital is something it can share with the UAE, said Park Young June, the vice minister of South Korea's economic development unit.

“In the promotion of small to medium-sized businesses, renewable energy policies, health care and information communication technology … the sectors embodied in Abu Dhabi's Economic Vision 2030, Korean companies have world-class competitiveness,” he said after the forum.

“Developing human resources is the most substantial part and Korea is strong at this, as it had the experience of developing the national economy without abundant natural resources.”

Park said Korean companies were “ready to build the industrial base to serve Abu Dhabi.”

Those companies, which have played such a vital role in the UAE's oil and gas contracting sector, are already looking to participate on a broader range of industrial projects.

Samsung Engineering, for example, a firm that has picked up contracts to build a plastics plant, fertiliser production line and part of a refinery in Abu Dhabi this year, is now said to be looking to rebalance its portfolio of projects in the UAE.

“We are actively pursuing metals and metallurgy projects in the UAE, and as part of the 2030 vision there's also potential infrastructure industrial projects such as power plants and water desalination,” said Gunther Pergher, the company's general manager for marketing and planning in the MENA region.

He added that Samsung Engineering was “active in the industrialisation of the country, whether it was power plants, steel mills, new technology for computers … and the idea is to take that expertise we developed and export it to foreign markets.”

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