South Korean President Moon Jae-in arrives in the UAE today, beginning a week-long visit to the Middle East.
Moon will visit the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Each of the three countries represents a significant South Korean economic interest in the region and are keys to the global energy supply chain. Egypt is the gatekeeper of the Suez Canal, Saudi Arabia is South Korea’s top overseas construction project partner and the UAE is a key business and investment partner. All three countries are also part of the Middle East’s strategic energy transition, as they seek to diversify their economies’ reliance on fossil fuels.
Moon is using South Korea’s comparative advantage in semiconductors and battery technology to accelerate leadership in the electric vehicle market. During recent trips to the US and to Europe, Moon shored up supply chains for semiconductors and batteries. During this trip abroad, it is likely that Moon will seek to expand upon this theme. Appealing to the region’s transition to cleaner energy, expect Moon to push for South Korea to become the top supplier of electric vehicles and clean energy technology to these three countries—and to secure market access for Europe and the MENA region through the Suez Canal.
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Daniel is the Chief Operating Officer of Foreign brief. He oversees the production and publishing of all of Foreign Brief's products. His background is in the air, space and cyberspace domains of national security and Indo-Pacific geopolitics. He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.