President Park Geun-hye is nearing the end
of her economic diplomacy tour of the Middle East. On Thursday… the Korean leader held talks
with the crown prince of the UAE. They agreed to broaden their cooperation from
energy and construction into the medical and food sectors as well. Our Choi You-sun , who is traveling with the
president,… filed this report from Abu Dhabi. In a deal signed Thursday, Seoul and Abu Dhabi
agreed to share halal food technologies and market and certification data. Halal foods are certified according to strict
Islamic dietary guidelines, and its global market size is expected to hit 1-point-6 trillion
dollars in 2018. That’s some 15 percent of the entire food
and beverage market. Sealing this deal paves the way for Korea
to develop its own halal certified products, which it anticipates will double its current
700-million-dollar halal exports by 2017. Another deal on agricultural cooperation is
expected to open the door for the UAE to bolster its agricultural and food industries, while
also giving Korean companies the opportunity to make inroads into the region.
"If we jointly establish a certification system
and develop a menu fit for both cultures, we will be able to lead the global foods industry." On the cultural front, the two sides will
set up the Gulf region′s first Korean cultural center in Abu Dhabi, and push for joint development
of cultural contents. This is in response to a growing Korean population
in the UAE and the UAE’s interest in Korean culture and language thanks to the popularity
of Korean TV dramas and K-pop. Seoul and Abu Dhabi also agreed to upgrade
their collaboration in health care, oil field development, and infrastructure. "Forging a nuclear cooperation deal in 2009,
the UAE became Korea′s first strategic partner in the Gulf region.
President Park′s office says the leaders
of two sides met three time in the past year alone, which shows how committed they are
to the partnership. Choi You-sun, Arirang News, Abu Dhabi.".