I wholeheartedly welcome Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the members of the UAE delegation on your official visit to Korea. The Crown Prince and I met over dinner yesterday, enjoying our time together and making our two countries’ friendly, cooperative relations even firmer. It was truly meaningful.
Last March in the UAE, we both agreed to elevate bilateral ties to a special strategic partnership. I am gratified that cooperation between our two nations has been developing in a wide range of areas since then and am grateful to the Crown Prince.
As a result, last year, the UAE became the largest market for Korean exporters in the Middle East and the biggest overseas market for Korean construction companies. The country also ranked first in terms of people-to-people exchanges in the region. As the UAE is the only Middle Eastern country that has established a special strategic partnership with Korea, I am particularly attached to it.
I hope that our two countries will further strengthen existing cooperation and expand it into the realm of new technologies and industries being pursued in response to the Fourth Industrial Revolution era, including information and communication technologies, such as 5G; artificial intelligence; robots; semiconductors; new renewable energies; and smart farms.
It so happens that the second North Korea-U.S. summit is to be held today in Vietnam, so this is a very significant day in the efforts to achieve peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula. The Crown Prince conveyed a message of tolerance, harmony and co-existence by arranging Pope Francis’s visit to Abu Dhabi early this month, making the UAE the first among the countries on the Arabian Peninsula to do so. Likewise, I hope that the Crown Prince’s visit to Korea will also help an atmosphere of permanent peace and mutual prosperity widely disseminate on the Korean Peninsula.