UAE and South Korea sign MoU to develop entrepreneurship, SMEs

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Top officials of UAE and South Korea during the signing ceremony.

The UAE Ministry of Economy (MoE) and the Korea Federation of SMEs (KBIZ) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance cooperation between the two countries to develop entrepreneurship and strengthen partnerships between SMEs.

The MoU was signed by Abdullah Al Saleh, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Economy; and Kim Ki-mun, Chairman of KBIZ, in the presence of Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs.

Commenting on the partnership, Al Falasi said that the UAE is keen to strengthen cooperation with South Korea in all fields. He explained that the promotion of entrepreneurship, cooperation in supporting the small and mid-size enterprises ( SMEs) ecosystem, and the expansion of cooperation between the two countries’ private sectors are the partnership’s major goals.

He added, “The UAE attaches great importance to the development of the SMEs sector as one of the main pillars of the country’s new economic model and its strategic plans for the future in line with the principles and goals of the 50. The development of international partnerships is a major focus area of the UAE’s efforts in this regard, and South Korea is a significant partner for the UAE in our efforts to develop entrepreneurship.

“The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding will help us strengthen the role of entrepreneurs and Small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) in the two countries in economic cooperation and facilitate the development of partnerships, especially in health technology and smart agriculture. It will also drive the growth of trade exchanges and stimulate the flow of quality investments in innovation, research and development.”

Under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding, the two parties will jointly design flexible partnership programmes during the next phase, through which Emirati and Korean SMEs will be able to enter the markets of the two countries more easily and effectively.

They will also cooperate in exchanging knowledge regarding the development of programmes, policies and legislation related to the entrepreneurship sector in the two countries.

The MoU will also increase the linkage between SMEs in the UAE and their counterparts in South Korea as suppliers and trading partners with a competitive advantage.

The two parties also agreed to develop a platform to support small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) to enable them to identify promising investment opportunities in each other’s markets.

They also established mechanisms for cooperation to support and exchange market research and information, allow assistance of experts with regard to supporting SMEs, mutual participation in international events related to the entrepreneurship sector, and benefit from the infrastructure supporting entrepreneurship and its development.

The entrepreneurship and SMEs sector accounts for 99 per cent of the total companies in South Korea, while the sector in the UAE accounts for 98.5 per cent of the private sector.

Earlier this month Abu Dhabi Exports Office (ADEX), received representatives of the Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM), to explore ways of strengthening collaboration on export financing.

The meeting was led by Khalil Al Mansoori, Acting Director-General of ADEX, and Cholkyu Lee, Chief Representative of KEXIM’s Dubai office.

Senior officials from both sides were present at the meeting.

The two sides discussed co-financing solutions for Korean organisations seeking to import goods and services from the UAE, in addition to projects that are to be implemented by Korean EPC contractors, provided these projects use materials or expertise from the UAE.

Al Mansoori said “Our meeting was a testament to the commitment of the two institutions to enable the export industry of our countries to achieve their aspirations and objectives.”

“We are confident that our discussions will significantly positively impact the export dynamics and relations between the UAE and South Korea. However, the larger objective of our endeavour is to boost our respective economies.”

ADEX was established by Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), to drive diversification and growth of the UAE export economy through stronger partnerships with international institutions over financing solutions.

Its mandate also includes alleviating financial risks faced by Emirati exporters in exploring global markets, and providing loans and guarantees to international buyers to purchase UAE products and services.

South Korea’s central bank said it has agreed with the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) to extend a currency swap agreement for five years. The renewed Dhs20 billion ($5.5 billion) currency swap deal between the Bank of Korea and CBUAE, first signed in 2013, is effective from April 13 and can be extended by mutual consent.

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