Monday, 6 May 2013

S Korean firms hope to bag big projects in Qatar: Envoy

SATYENDRA PATHAK

DOHA

SOUTH Korean companies were hopeful of bagging many of the upcoming projects being undertaken in Qatar in preparation for the 2022 Fifa World Cup, South Korean Ambassador to Qatar HE Keejong Chung has said.

“The FIFA World Cup, to be held in Qatar in 2022, is a major opportunity for South Korean companies as it takes a lot of infrastructure development in Qatar.

“Our companies are ready to offer their expertise in infrastructure development. We are hopeful that the Korean companies will be awarded some of the major contracts,” the envoy told Qatar Tribune in an interview.

“Qatar, which has embarked on a massive infrastructure upgrade drive, will be an important engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract market for South Korea,” he said.

Hailing Qatar and South Korea’s decades-long ties, he said Qatar currently performs a big role in global innovation and South Korea can contribute in various fields as in Qatar’s move towards prosperity.

Bilateral trade between South Korea and Qatar has increased from $9.7 billion in 2009 to $ 21.5 billion in 2011. The figure is likely to grow manifold as trade relations between Qatar and South Korea is gaining strength.

“South Korea is the second largest gas importing country from Qatar. Our top energy firms are always in touch with Qatar to secure their energy needs. Energy import from Qatar to South Korea meets almost 30 percent of South Korea’s energy demands,” he said.

South Korea, the world’s second- largest buyer of liquefied natural gas, increased imports of the fuel by 19 percent in March.

South Korea buys most of its LNG under multi-year contracts from suppliers including Qatar, Indonesia and Oman.

There are around 25 South Korean companies operating in Qatar. Many more companies are trying to enter into Qatari market to take part in the ongoing developmental projects.

“Energy co-operation is one of the major pillars of the long lasting relationship between the South Korea and Qatar. We rely on Qatar to secure our energy needs in future as well,” the envoy said.

“Construction co-operation is another pillar of the relationship between both the countries. Many South Korean construction companies are working in Qatar.

Many more are bidding for various construction projects.

I hope this construction co-operation to grow in future as well,” he said.

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