‘Strong economy’ driving more South Korean companies to Qatar
October 04 2019 07:47 PM
Qatar did not give in to the blockade and the government continued to drive the market, says Korea B
Qatar did not give in to the blockade and the government continued to drive the market, says Korea Business Council – Qatar founding chairman Dae Ho Kim. PICTURE: Jayaram

Qatar’s robust and resilient economy has continued to attract a wide range of South Korean companies that want to explore the nation’s diverse investment markets, according to an official of the newly-established Korea Business Council – Qatar.

Founding chairman Dae Ho Kim, who has been facilitating network exchange between Qatari and South Korean companies, SMEs, and startups since 2016, said the June 2017 economic blockade against Qatar has failed to stop the economic growth of the country.

“We always look at sharing knowledge, experiences, and best practices. For companies that visited Qatar, they now want to experience the Qatari market. I started this before the economic blockade, and we still kept coming here even after blockade and we have started seeing the changes happening across the Qatari economic and business landscape.

“We saw a lot of potential and investment opportunities. Qatar did not give in to the blockade and the government continued to drive the market; it was looking for champions to make Qatar proud and stand out in the region,” Kim told Gulf Times in an interview.

Kim stressed that many “well-experienced and mature” South Korean companies want to explore different sectors in Qatar, which is why the business council was established here on March 31 this year.

“Our companies back in South Korea are very happy to come to this country even though it may be challenging to expand to other markets, which is why the business council serves as an umbrella that provides the network and connection to the local enterprises in Qatar.

“South Korean companies have been doing business in Qatar for a very long time but they didn’t have that proper entity where the local companies and business people were able to get together with their South Korean counterparts, so we set up the business council and we are hoping that this makes it easier for people to share their ideas, experiences, and knowledge,” Kim pointed out.

Asked about other promising sectors where Qatari and South Korean companies could collaborate further, Kim said in the past both governments “have signed many collaborative MoUs together.”

“We hope that a lot of them would develop into fruitful endeavours that could benefit both the countries. There are a lot of South Korean companies that are very much interested in setting up businesses in Qatar, considering that the relationship of our country and the Middle East goes back to the 1970s,” Kim stressed.

He added: “Looking back, most of the developments between Qatar and South Korean companies are in the construction sector and the oil and gas industry. South Korea is among the leading nations in knowledge transfer, and this is something that could be enhanced between Qatar and our country.

“South Korea is looking for more international partners and new markets to enter. And for the Middle East region, South Korea sees a lot of potential here and I think Qatar would be a good country to start something because I believe it is a market that is trying to drive new and interesting fields, and South Korea should be part of this, as well.”




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