Economic relations between Kuwait and South Korea are excellent and constantly developing


January 29, 2015


Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Mohammad Sabah AlSalem AlSabah, affirmed today that the relations between South Korea and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, especially Kuwait, are excellent and in continuous development.

Dr. Mohammad AlSabah mentioned in a speech during his participation in the South Korea-GCC Business Partnership Forum that the Council and South Korea have an effective model of economic and political cooperation, where political consensus between the two parties directly reflects on economic relations.

He stated that South Korea is Kuwait's largest trading partner and ranks first in Kuwait's oil exports abroad, noting that Kuwait's imports from South Korea have significantly increased by 70% between 2013 and 2014 due to Kuwait's development programs and the quality of Korean products.

He praised the importance of the development of economic relations between the two countries over the past four years, which resulted in projects such as the construction of energy and petroleum facilities in Kuwait to maintain pressure in the oil wells of the Burgan oil field, valued at $742 million.

He also highlighted South Korea's contribution to laying the foundation stone for a container port project containing 60 docks at Mubarak Port on Bubiyan Island valued at $13.1 billion, as well as the construction of the Jaber Bridge, one of the longest sea bridges in the world, with a budget exceeding $2.5 billion.

Regarding Gulf-Korean economic relations, Dr. Mohammad AlSabah emphasized that they have witnessed significant development in recent years, with trade exchanges between the two sides growing to the extent that the GCC countries became South Korea's second-largest trading partner after China.

He explained that the volume of trade between the two sides increased from $24 billion in 2001 to over $120 billion in 2013, where the Korean economy played a crucial role in diversifying Gulf economic structures, especially in renewable energy, education, healthcare, and information technology.

He further mentioned notable developments in this integrated relationship, such as the construction of four nuclear power reactors in the United Arab Emirates at a cost of approximately $20 billion and the establishment of oil refining facilities and the expansion of production capacity in the industrial complex in Sohar, Oman, valued at $2.7 billion.

He also noted that South Korea signed two executive memoranda with Saudi Arabia for training doctors and implementing health information technology, and there is cooperation between the Qatari Investment Authority and the Korean side in a massive project, which is the construction of a smart city in Qatar.

Regarding the future of Gulf-Korean relations, Dr. Mohammad AlSabah mentioned that the GCC countries are witnessing extensive developmental and reconstruction activities due to their huge oil revenues, emphasizing the necessity of utilizing this situation to create new channels for investing the surplus of these revenues in real developmental projects that provide job opportunities for Gulf youth and contribute to the development of human capital.

Dr. Mohammad AlSabah, who is visiting Seoul to attend the forum, met yesterday with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, who praised the excellent level of relations between South Korea and Kuwait, as well as the GCC countries, and the fruitful cooperation between them in various fields.


Source: Al-Qabas Kuwaiti Newspaper

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