Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy and chairman of Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC), received a high-ranking delegation from the Republic of Korea, led by Kim Dong-yeon, Minister of Strategy and Finance and Deputy Prime Minister.
The meeting explored ways of enhancing synergies between the 2 countries and boosting trade and economic ties in emerging sectors, as well as opportunities for collaboration across all areas of Islamic economy.
Also present at the meeting were Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of DIEDC, Abdulla Sultan Alfan Alshamsi, Assistant Undersecretary for Industrial Affairs at the UAE Ministry of Economy, and Abdullah Saleh Al Hammadi, head of the tourism department at the UAE Ministry of Economy.
The two parties also discussed the diverse existing partnerships between the UAE and Korea, specifically those in the field of innovation, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and intellectual property. The attendees examined plans to expand bilateral relations through focusing on high-priority sectors of common interest.
During the meeting, Korean officials were briefed on the Islamic economy and the promising opportunities it offers, the UAE's strides in developing its capabilities in the field, as well as areas of potential partnership, particularly in the halal and Islamic finance space.
Al Mansouri said: "Bilateral ties between the UAE and South Korea have always been very strong, and today our 2 nations are ready to take their relationship to the next level with a strategic partnership based on shared interests that focus on achieving our ambitious development goals."
Al Mansouri pointed out that the Islamic economy has the potential to initiate a new phase of partnership, especially given the growing global demand for halal products and Islamic financial services.
He expressed the importance of starting a dialogue between the DIEDC and South Korean entities to share the UAE's experience and best practices in this field.
He added that there are growing prospects for cooperation with South Korea in the SMEs and entrepreneurship field, and for developing new channels of communication and exchange of knowledge about the success of Korean start-ups and innovation-based projects. He reiterated the importance of stepping up joint efforts to boost the growth of fintech and the implementation of emerging technologies in the financial sector.
Kim highlighted South Korea's desire to benefit from the UAE's expertise through exchanging best practices, knowledge and experience in areas of shared interest and expressed interest in exploring opportunities for cooperation in the Islamic economy. He also pointed out the merits of Islamic finance, specifically sukuk, as a key sector in advancing Islamic economy, adding that South
Korea is examining the legislative requirements for entering the field.
Al Awar briefed the audience on DIEDC's 2017-2021 strategy that revolves around 3 focus sectors - Islamic finance, halal and Islamic lifestyle that encompasses culture, artsand family-friendly tourism.
Al Awar highlighted the prospects in the Islamic banking and finance sector, especially in sukuk issuance, which is witnessing significant growth in non-Muslim markets such as Hong Kong, the UK, Luxembourg and South Africa. He said: "There are great opportunities to build synergies with South Korea, especially in fields related to sukuk and halal."
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