UAE auto firms ‘profiting from S Korea ties’
Dubai, July 8, 2013
South Korea’s booming trade relationship with the UAE is providing lucrative opportunities for the country’s automotive industry, according to the managing director of a leading UAE-based automotive aftermarket distributor.
The UAE is South Korea's largest export market in the Middle East, and currently the second largest Middle Eastern market for South Korean investments. The volume of mutual investments between the two countries was estimated to reach $3.24 billion last year.
“South Korea's economy is ranked fourth in Asia after Japan, China and India, and 15th worldwide. Clearly, the country has a proven ability to steer its economy effectively. Indeed, South Korea was one of the first to recover from the global financial crisis that is still impacting other countries heavily,” said Asad Badami, managing director of A-Map, a top distributor of vehicle spare parts.
The East Asian country’s huge automotive industry is the fifth-largest in the world by automobile production and the sixth-largest by export volume – statistics that Badami said reveal a fertile market for organisations supplying aftermarket vehicle components.
A-Map is already the exclusive distributor of the superior, Korean-made Solite batteries to more than 40 countries across the Middle East, North and South Africa, GCC and CIS countries. Solite is the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for automotive batteries in both Hyundai and Kia vehicles.
“The strong and improving industry ties that the UAE has forged, and continues to forge, will bolster our capabilities to supply South Korean car components such as Solite batteries to the UAE, particularly as more companies look to tie up regionally. The bilateral ties will also increase the likelihood of exporting more vehicles to the UAE, which also affords us a wealth of opportunities,” he added.
There are currently approximately 300 Korean companies registered in the UAE and over 12,000 Korean residents in the country. Traveller figures have been growing too, with the number of annual visitors between the UAE and South Korea jumping from 70,000 in 2010 to 100,000 in 2011. Such increases are indicative of South Korean firms and investors’ growing enthusiasm for the UAE, and Dubai in particular, Badami said.
Recent efforts to strengthen the two countries’ already buoyant relationship include The Dubai Airport Freezone hosting seminars in Seoul, the South Korean capital, and Busan, its second largest city, to outline the benefits of doing business with the UAE. – TradeArabia News Service