(ATTN: ADDS more details in last 2 paras; CHANGES photos)
SEOUL, Jan. 17 (Yonhap) -- Companies from South Korea and the United Arab Emirates have signed 23 memorandums of understanding (MOUs) and a contract, worth US$6.1 billion combined, enhancing bilateral cooperation on energy, defense and new industry sectors such as hydrogen and bio, Seoul's industry ministry said Tuesday.
The signing ceremony was held Monday during a business forum in Abu Dhabi, which brought together some 320 government and corporate officials from the two nations, including Samsung Electronics Executive Chairman Lee Jae-yong, SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won and Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Euisun Chung, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
The event took place on the sidelines of President Yoon Suk Yeol's official visit to the Middle Eastern nation.
Samsung Electronics Executive Chairman Lee Jae-yong (2nd from R) takes part in a business forum between South Korea and the United Arab Emirates at an Abu Dhabi hotel on Jan. 16, 2023. (Yonhap)
Of them, Samsung C&T Corp. clinched an agreement with UAE's Masdar on hydrogen and new renewable energy business cooperation, and a separate MOU with Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. on power transmission and gas development projects.
The Korea National Oil Corp. agreed with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, or ADNOC, to forge a strategic partnership for joint production of clean hydrogen, according to the ministry.
South Korea's Medy-Tox Inc. and Dubai Science Park vowed to push for the establishment of a bio products factory, and travel platform Yanolja Co. signed two MOUs, with WeGo and AI Rais, on tourism cooperation.
On the arms industry, South Korea's machinery parts manufacturer KTECH Co. signed a contract with UAE's firearms company Caracal. Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. and LIG Nex1 Co. also signed separate MOUs with UAE firms on defense projects, it added. The ministry did not disclose details about the contract.
"The agreements will create a chance to advance and diversify economic cooperation between the two nations, as they not only involve such traditional fields of cooperation as energy and defense but also emerging industries, such as hydrogen, bio, digital transition and metaverse," the ministry said in a release.
The two countries signed more than a dozen other MOUs a day earlier on strengthening ties in energy and a wide range of other industry sectors.
During Sunday's summit meeting between Yoon and UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE announced its decision to invest US$30 billion in South Korea in the nuclear power, arms and energy fields.
The two nations also held a business consultation session on Monday, where 36 South Korean companies and 105 UAE firms had a total of 257 one-on-one meetings to explore business opportunities.
The ministry said the consultation session would lead to contracts for joint projects in nuclear power generation, energy, smart city and other major industry fields worth $11 million.
This photo, provided by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency on Jan. 17, 2023, shows a South Korea-UAE business consultation session in Abu Dhabi held the previous day. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)