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The President Holds Summit with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani

By   /   March 11, 2015  /   No Comments

The President Holds Summit with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani

President Park Geun-hye and Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar, held a summit this morning and discussed ways to cement traditional cooperation in energy and construction and, at the same time, expand investments and further advance collaboration in the fields with new growth potential, including nuclear power plants, the defense industry, healthcare and medical services. Taking it a step further, they concurred on the necessity of continuing to expand the scope of bilateral cooperation in government and foreign affairs for the sake of peace and stability in the Middle East and East Asia.
President Park highlighted the close working partnership between Korea and Qatar in the conventional areas of cooperation such as energy and construction and emphasized that Qatar was a core partner in the new growth engine sectors. She went on to express the hope that Korea and Qatar would expand cooperation across the board in such high value-added areas as innovation in new technologies, healthcare and medical services as well as information and communications technology, given the fact that there would be ample potential for collaboration between Korea’s creative economy initiative and Qatar’s National Vision 2030.
Emir Tamim said Qatar was actively working to diversify its industry and that Korea was a role model for his country’s economic growth. He went on to say that as Korea was one of the Asian nations with which Qatar was maintaining close cooperative ties, his state was ready to further collaborate with Korea across all fronts.
He continued to explain that his country had begun to waive the entry visa requirements for Koreans immediately after his return from a visit to Korea last year and that he had instructed relevant ministries to conduct in-depth examinations of 48 promising investment projects proposed by Korea this January, faithfully carrying out agreements reached at last year’s summit. He also expressed the hope that such endeavors would help deepen and expand substantive cooperation between the two countries.
President Park responded by saying that Qatar’s quick decision following the Emir’s visit to Korea to allow Koreans to enter the country without visas for 30 days had made a great contribution to people-to-people exchanges and that many Korean businesspeople had expressed their appreciation for the policy.
President Park and Emir Tamim also exchanged constructive views on a number of key areas of bilateral cooperation, including trade and investment, energy, construction and plant engineering, healthcare and medical treatment, ICT, public security and the defense industry, education and culture.
President Park said that she was pleased at ongoing consultations in connection with attracting more investments to Korea as seen in the success of an investment roundtable held in Doha last month and that she looked forward to them leading to tangible outcomes. In response, the Qatari Emir said that in-depth discussions were underway in his country in regard to how to give impetus to the 48 promising investment projects proposed by Korea.
Expressing his agreement on the need for the Northeast Asian Oil Hub project, which President Park raised on the occasion of his visit to Korea last year, the Emir said that related organizations were closely examining the strategic, technological and commercial aspects of the project. Given the significance of the Northeast Asian region as one of the major energy-importing regions, the President remarked that Qatar`s interest in the project was significant, adding that she looked forward to additional consultations between the two nations. On top of this, President Park said that a smart grid was a promising new area for bilateral energy cooperation and proposed that the two nations work closely together to nurture the sector as a new growth engine.
President Park next noted that Korean businesses, which had a track record of successfully constructing infrastructure for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, could become ideal partners in building infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup. The President went on to ask for the Emir`s special interest so that Korean companies could take part in Qatar`s plant construction projects, including seawater desalination facilities. Mentioning Korean businesses` sufficient competitiveness deriving from their strong work ethic and advanced technology, the Emir said he welcomed the participation of Korean businesses. He expressed the hope that Korean companies would be given priority in the projects for the World Cup, adding that his country would seek ways to give favorable consideration to Korean businesses in the bidding.
President Park expressed the hope that the agreements on sending government-assisted patients to Korea and training medical workers would be signed as early as possible so that patients in Qatar could gain access to the excellent medical services in Korea and so that the training of Qatari medical professionals could be expanded. Mentioning his strong interest in cooperation in healthcare and medical services between the two nations, the Emir said he hoped for the expansion of cooperation.
Based on the MOU on cooperation for training nuclear professionals and R&D, which would be signed this time, President Park expressed the hope that substantive cooperation in the area would be broadened. Expressing his high interest in importing reactors for research purposes to nurture experts in his country, the Emir said he looked forward to the expansion of cooperation on the basis of the MOU.
Next, saying that people-to-people and cultural exchanges needed to be pursued side by side in order to sustain bilateral cooperation for the long term, President Park welcomed the various MOUs, including on cooperation in education and tourism, that were signed during her visit. In addition, bringing up the World Education Forum to be held in Korea in May, the President requested the attendance of senior Qatari officials. In reply, Emir Tamim expressed his full agreement on the importance of people-to-people and cultural exchanges and said he would work to arrange for Qatari officials to attend the Education Forum.
Emir Tamim also mentioned the World Water Forum to be held in Korea in April, saying that in light of the importance of water issues, it had been decided that the Qatari Minister of Environment would attend. President Park said she welcomed the participation of Qatar and proposed the two countries make efforts together to find measures to resolve water issues at the international level.
President Park said that she also hoped Korea and Qatar would strengthen cooperation to address important international issues not only at the international level, through the UN, but also through regional bodies. She asked that Qatar, as chair country of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for 2015, would make efforts to strengthen friendly ties between Korea and the GCC.

On the topic of the Korean Peninsula, Emir Tamim expressed his full support for the Korean Government’s efforts, mentioning Qatar’s own active efforts regarding North Korean denuclearization, including support for and faithful implementation of UN sanctions against the North. In response, President Park recalled that she and Emir Tamim had discussed at length various issues concerning the Korean Peninsula, including denuclearization and unification, during their summit in 2014, and she expressed gratitude for the Qatari Government’s strong support for her administration’s North Korea policies.
The President’s summit in Qatar, the final stop on her tour of the Middle East, provided an opportunity for in-depth consultations regarding practical cooperation in various areas, which is expected to contribute to bringing about a Second Middle East Boom, including cooperation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, and give Korea a fresh impetus for growth. The summit was also a chance to reaffirm Qatar’s support for the Korean Government’s positions with regard to resolving the North Korean nuclear issue and achieving peaceful unification and also set the stage for stronger cooperation at the international level.

– See more at: http://english1.president.go.kr/activity/briefing.php?srh%5Bview_mode%5D=detail&srh%5Bseq%5D=9799#sthash.XtrsqpvD.dpuf

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