(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Ambassador of South Korea to Qatar, Heung-kyeong Park, said yesterday that Qatar-Korea LED project with an initial capacity of producing 0.5 million MENA-tailored LED lights per year will soon become operational.
'Hopefully, the project will start its production soon. Korea-Qatar LED project is in progress with a view to producing MENA-tailored LED lights as a collaboration between Korean LED consortium and its Qatari counterpart. The initial phase of the LED plant will be built at a cost of 34m and produce 500,000 units of LED lights per annum, said Park in an exclusive interview with The Peninsula. He said in addition to LED production unit at Industrial Area, a research institute will be established for R & D.
The ambassador said that a South Korean company in collaboration with a Qatari company will build a plant in Qatar to produce special paper production moulds, which can be recycled and save cost and time differently from conventional moulds of wood, steel, or aluminum.
With respect to Qatar's greenhouse farming projects to enhance food security, the ambassador said that indoor farming or vertical farming was a promising area of cooperation between Korea and Qatar.
'Vertical farming requires advanced agricultural techniques and experience, LED lights and IT technologies, all of which I believe Korea possesses."
South Korean ambassador impressed by Qatar National Vision 2030
"Recently I visited a commercial indoor farm in Al Khor, which is producing mushroom, fruits and vegetables all the year round. I think our bilateral cooperation could facilitate a sustainable agriculture overcoming adverse weather conditions in Qatar, he added.
The ambassador said he was impressed by the Qatar National Vision 2030 developed under the guidance of Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, 'which I think functions as a guiding platform of balanced development plans for Qatar.
'Likewise, the leadership of Qatar is far-sighted and cautious in formulating domestic development plans and foreign policies, he observed. He said that Korean companies, due to specialized skills, could play an important role in developing 2022 World Cup related projects.
'Since South Koreahosted 1988 Olympic Games and 2002 World Cup, Korea is willing to provide any possible assistance to Qatar in the preparations for 2022 World Cup. In this context, many Korean companies are looking for mutually beneficial projects related to 2022 World Cup.
On bilateral trade, PARK said that currently, Korea was importing one third of its annual LNG requirements (12 million tons) and 10% of its oil (100 million barrels) from Qatar. 'Two-way trade volume has decreased from 26.6bn in 2014 to 17.1bn in 2015 and 9.5bn in 2016 (until November) due to the low oil price. If oil and gas price bounces back, the trade volume would increase accordingly.
The two countries are expanding relations from energy and infrastructure cooperation to healthcare, education and other areas. The ambassador said both have signed an MoU for cooperation in Science & Technology Research and Development.
'Both governments have also agreed to hold a meeting of the Korea-Qatar Joint committee on ICT in order to develop joint ICT projects, he added.
As for healthcare, the ambassador said that Qatar-Korea medical forum took place in Doha in November last year. 'A 19-member Korean medical team and tens of Qatari counterparts from Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) participated in the forum to share knowledge and experience through workshop and live surgeries in the areas of liver transplantation, orthopaedics and cardiology. Seven patients including the ones planted artificial knee-joints and livers have fully recovered now, he added.
'An MoU on educational cooperation was signed in 2015. Both Korean governments agreed to make efforts to strengthen educational cooperation including in STEAM, education curriculum development such as scientific education programme, teachers' training and e-learning at the ministerial meeting last December, he said, adding that a Korean lecturer started teaching Korean language at Qatar University last September.
He said that his country had the honour of constructing Doha's iconic Sheraton Hotel. 'Since then many Korean construction companies have participated in various infrastructure projects such as Lusail Expressway, Umm Haul Power and Desalination plants, he said.