South Korea is looking to diversify from the construction industry in Qatar by bringing in companies specialising in cutting-edge expertise like nanotechnology, robotics, and LED manufacturing, ambassador Chung Keejong told Gulf Times.
Chung said South Korea is hoping to find more opportunities in Qatar, which is part of the country’s plans to expand their investments in the country, aside from the construction sector.
He said South Korea’s current involvement with Qatar can be seen in the construction field with many of its companies involved in infrastructure building.
However, the ambassador noted that the South Korean government has selected 12 new economic engines for its economic programmes, which include nanotechnology, information technology (IT), battery manufacturing, robotics, special textiles, biomedicine, and special chemicals, among others.
“Right now Korea and Qatar are exploring joint venture projects in robotics and LED technology,” said Chung, who added that he and other executives from the Korean embassy were in attendance at the robot games that was recently hosted by the Qatar Scientific Club (QSC).
At present, South Korea has 17 Qatar-based companies involved in the construction and building sector. But Chung said the South Korean government will gradually bring in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to the country for possible joint venture projects.
“I would like to expand Korea’s and Qatar’s bilateral cooperation from the energy and construction sector to other areas like the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and other new economic fields,” Chung said.
Though he did not elaborate, Chung said a South Korean company specialising in LED technology will be forging a joint venture project with Qatar this year.
He added that at least 15 companies are set to join the upcoming Project Qatar 2014, which is slated to be held from May 12 to 15 at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC).
Citing Korea’s hosting of the World Cup in 2002, Chung said the event was one of the “key motivations” for them to participate in Project Qatar.
“I am sure that Korean companies can help meet the various demands arising from these rapid infrastructure development projects. We hope that it will be a good opportunity to showcase the expertise of Korean companies and demonstrate how it could assist Qatar,” the ambassador stressed.
According to Chung, aside from construction-related technology, one Korean paper form manufacturer participating in Project Qatar for the first time will showcase a wide range of uses for paper, including making round columns in buildings.
Another participating company, he said, specialises in the manufacture of clean mats that uses suction technology to remove dust in shoes while one company will feature its electronic bidet seats. “Dust and sanitation are common concerns for all buildings in Qatar, especially where keeping cleanliness is important,” Chung said.
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