QATAR: South Korea signed an agreement with Qatar for cooperation in the host the 2022 football World Cup…

Doha / QATAR: South Korea signed an agreement with Qatar yesterday for cooperation in the construction sector in the energy-rich Gulf state that will host the 2022 football World Cup.

The two sides signed the memorandum of understanding during a visit to Qatar by South Korean Prime Minister Jung Hong-won. Qatar is the top natural gas exporter to South Korea.

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The Prime Minister and Interior Minister H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani with the South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong Won in Doha yesterday. RIGHT: The Qatari and South Korean premiers witness the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding

According to an Arabic translation of his interview with Al Sharq, Jung said his talks with Qatari officials would “focus on the effective participation of Korean companies… in construction projects that come in preparation” of the 2022 games.

Trade between Qatar and South Korea had doubled from $123bn in 2010 to $262bn in 2012, the newspaper cited Jung as saying. Oil exports had increased from 64 million barrels in 2010 to 103 million barrels in 2012, Al Sharq reported.

Qatari exports account for 30 percent of South Korea’s entire natural gas imports, he said.

An official session of talks were held yesterday under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister and Interior Minister H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani and South Korean Prime Minister Jung Hong-won. During the session, they discussed bilateral relations and ways of strengthening them in all fields. The talks also dealt with a number of regional and international issues of common interest.

A number of the Qatari ministers and members of the South Korean delegation also took part in the talks. Later the Prime Minister  and his South Korean counterpart witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for co-operation in urban planning and infrastructure between the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning in Qatar and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of Korea. An Official Reception Ceremony was held for the South Korean Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister of South Korea has emphasised the depth of relations between his country and Qatar, noting that next year will be the 40th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the two countries.

He expressed his belief that relations between the two countries would grow more strategically and mutually as traditional allies and Qatar would become an important partner in the Middle East.

In the interview the South Korean Prime Minister said Qatar is the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas to South Korea and the third exporter of crude oil. Qatar is a resource-rich country as it has the third-largest reserves of natural gas and the tenth-largest reserves of oil, said the Korean Prime Minister.

Under the leadership of the Father Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and the Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and the wise policy based on the Qatar National Vision 2030, Qatar offers a leading plan to the sustainable development and a readiness to the era after oil, Jung said, pointing out that Qatar has prioritised “human development” and has focused its investments in the sectors of health, education and infrastructure, and this is similar to the policy of the Supreme National Policy in South Korea.

Jung expressed confidence that the doors of cooperation with Qatar are open into all fields, saying that since 1976, when the first Korean company worked in Qatar, many vital projects have been implemented successfully. He added that Korean companies are still working in 19 projects in Qatar, including Lusail Expressway project, Barzan Gas project, Business Network project, electricity and the metro project.

Sources: The Peninsula, Gulf Times, Caye Global News

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