South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Qatar's Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on Wednesday exchanged views on enhanced bilateral economic cooperation, Seoul's public broadcaster KBS reported. During their summit in the South Korean capital, Park and Al Thani discussed ways to expand cooperation on various areas of energy, construction, information and communications, defense and agriculture, the report said. The two leaders agreed to cooperate on South Korea's pursuit of a project worth USD 44-billion to build stadiums and roads for the 2022 Qatar World Cup, according to the report.
The two sides also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on bilateral cooperation in information and communications technology and similar MOUs in the fields of technological innovation, health and finance. Park asked for Qatar's cooperation to ensure a smooth supply of energy and called for the Gulf country's active participation in the project to build a Northeast Asian oil hub in Korea. Park expressed gratitude for the Amir's visit, saying that he visited South Korea as the two countries are marking the 40th anniversary of their establishment of diplomatic ties. "South Korea will continue its close ties and cooperation with Qatar on trade as well as major issues on the Korean Peninsula and the Middle East," she said. Also on Wednesday in Seoul, Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS) signed an agreement with state-run Qatar Petroleum (QP) on the construction of infrastructure for natural gas vehicles in Qatar, KBS said in a separate report. The Qatari government is promoting natural gas-powered vehicles and seeking to expand natural gas filling stations ahead of the 2022 World Cup. The agreement was concluded as QP sought cooperation of South Korean firms, including KOGAS and the Korean Association for Natural Gas Vehicles, for the infrastructure project. KOGAS said the agreement would provide opportunities for Korean small exporters of related equipment to advance into the Qatari market. KOGAS and QP also signed a MOU on exchanges and cooperation in liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering.