Qatar and South Korea recorded a 45.3% year-on-year (y-o-y) growth in bilateral trade volume to reach $15.4bn from January-November 2022.
South Korea’s cumulative exports to Qatar also grew 21.5% in the same period in 2022 to $450mn. Similarly, imports from Qatar rose 46.2% to $14.9bn, according to South Koran ambassador Lee Joon-ho, who said as of November 2022, Qatar is the 18th largest trading partner to South Korea.
In a statement to Gulf Times, Lee pointed out that the increase in the value of both countries’ trade volume is “attributable mainly to the rise in oil prices affected by the conflict in Ukraine.”
Asked to give an overview of Qatar-South Korea bilateral economic relations in 2023, Lee said South Korea and Qatar have developed a “close and friendly relationship” since both countries concluded diplomatic ties in 1974.
The ambassador noted that Qatar is the largest supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to South Korea and that South Korea is the second largest trading partner to Qatar.
“Building on the longstanding co-operation in the fields of LNG, our two countries are working closely together to diversify fields of our cooperation into new areas, such as healthcare, agriculture, and ICT,” he said.
In this regard, Lee said Qatar and South Korea had “fruitful” high-level exchanges last year. In March, South Korean Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum visited Qatar to promote partnerships in the fields of energy, investment, agriculture, and healthcare, he said.
Lee also said HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani visited South Korea in August 2022 to further strengthen bilateral relations, especially in the energy, technology, and food security sectors.
“In addition, bilateral economic collaboration linked to Qatar’s North Field Expansion plan and the construction of LNG carriers is on track. In particular, South Korean companies won the contract for the construction of 53 LNG carriers and the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract for QatarEnergy Renewable Solutions’ 875MW Industrial Cities (IC) solar power plant in 2022.
“I believe that our mutually beneficial partnership will continue and step forward to the greater economic collaboration between our two countries in the coming years,” Lee emphasised.
South Koran ambassador Lee Joon-ho