*Bilateral trade amounts to $12.5bn during the first ten months of 2018

Qatar and South Korea, which enjoys close trade relations with the volume of bilateral trade amounting to $12.5bn during the first ten months of 2018, on Monday explored mechanisms to support joint investments across sectors in a bid to strengthen the co-operation between the private sectors of both the countries.

This was discussed on Monday by the Minister of Commerce and Industry, HE Ali bin Ahmed al-Kuwari with Kim Hyun-chong, South Korea’s Minister of Trade, who is currently visiting Qatar.

The Asian country is Doha’s second largest trade partner.

Discussions touched on the promotion of bilateral relations between Qatar and South Korea as well as the development of joint co-operation, particularly in the fields of trade, investment and industry in addition to measures to enhance and develop ties between the two friendly countries.

The deliberations also touched on the latest developments the Qatari economy witnessed over the past years. Both sides reviewed investment opportunities across all sectors as well as the legislations adopted by the State and the initiatives launched to support the private sector, which will bolster foreign direct investments and attract an additional number of Korean companies to the Qatari market.

"The meeting also focused on mechanisms to support joint investments and encourage the private sector to establish innovative investment projects across key sectors in line with the economic policies of both countries," the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said.

Qatar continues to supply 11.5mn tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to South Korea, which is one third of its annual LNG consumption.

South Korea envoy Kim Chang-Mo had last year said the bilateral relations have remained solid for decades in various fields of co-operation, especially in the energy and construction sector.

In the construction sector, he had said, some 15 Korean companies are involved in building various infrastructure projects for the Doha Metro, Lusail Expressway and Umm Haul power and desalination plant.

In his statement on the occasion of Qatar National Day, the South Korean ambassador had said the two countries have great potential to expand their co-operation in mutually beneficial way, not only in energy sector, but in other areas such as agriculture, aquaculture, ICT, public health, medical industry, security and other fields.

He had also lauded the way Qatar has handled the unjust economic blockade imposed by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, and Egypt on June 15, 2017. He said the Gulf crisis was an opportunity for Qatar to expand its manufacturing and industrial sectors.

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