The Dubai Investment Development Agency, known as Dubai FDI, plans to attend the Korea Overseas Investment Fair and Conference in Seoul on June 17 and 18 in order to attract Korean investment in Dubai and to explore new markets.

The conference allows the public and companies from around the world to come together to showcase their skills and to promote investment opportunities to Korean companies looking to invest abroad.

Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO of Dubai FDI, lauded South Korea’s industrial expertise and claimed that the country would be perfectly sited to service markets such as the Middle East and Africa from the UAE. “South Korea is one of the leading Asian partners for Dubai and the UAE, visible across critical sectors ranging from energy and infrastructure to automobiles and consumer electronics,” Al Gergawi added. Ibrahim Ahli, director, Investment Promotion Division at Dubai FDI, said Dubai’s proximity to fast-growing markets and its rising supply chain potentials can bring in more South Korean businesses. “South Korean exports to the UAE were valued at Dh26.4 billion in 2014, up 26 per cent from the previous year. The increase was largely driven by automobiles and spare parts as well as flat panel displays. The rising demand for quality products in the local market and improved efficiencies in our logistics infrastructure present significant export and re-export opportunities for South Korea,” Ahli said.

The importance of Africa as a market for Korea has been growing over the past decade, with trade increasing fivefold between 2001 and 2011. While current trade levels are still comparatively low, the continent is as yet untapped by South Korean firms and the potential for growth is certainly encouraging.

South Korean investments in the UAE have been growing slowly over the years and the 2011 deal where Korea’s national power company built the UAE’s first nuclear reactor in 2011 marked a total of Dh826 million of deals between the two countries.

“With Dubai getting ready to host the World Expo 2020, South Korean construction and engineering expertise has an unrivalled opportunity. On another note, South Korea is known to promote its small and medium enterprises to compete on a global stage, much like Dubai. With such shared interests and economic focus, South Korea and Dubai can be partners in progress,” Al Gergawi said.