Minister to Mid East in construction project pushMinister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Kim Hyun-mee left for the Middle East on Monday. She will be visiting the UAE, Kuwait and Qatar in support of Korean companies seeking construction contracts in the region and will be focusing on smart cities, airports and intelligent transportation systems.
The visit follows President Moon Jae-in’s trip to the UAE in March, where the two countries agreed to form a strategic alliance.
Minister Kim is scheduled to visit Kuwait International Airport’s Terminal 4, which has been in operation since August and is being operated by Incheon International Airport. She will also be visiting Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah Causeway, which runs 36 kilometers (22 miles) and connects Shuwalikh Port with Subiyah New Town. Hyundai Engineering & Construction is the main developer of the bridge.
A consortium led by state-owned construction company Korea Land and Housing is currently working on the South Saad Al Abdullah New Town, located 30 kilometers from Kuwait City. The project, which involves the building of 40,000 housing units, is worth $4 billion.
During her visit, Minister Kim will be meeting with a number of senior Kuwaiti government officials, including Minister of State for Housing Affairs Yasser Hassan. Kuwait is expected to initiate a number of major infrastructure development projects worth an estimated $18 billion. Bidding is set for the second half of next year.
Minister Kim will also meet with Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatar prime minister and interior minister. They will discuss possible cooperation on the Doha Metro Green Line project, a rapid transit system worth an estimated $1 billion and currently under bid, as well as the $8 billion Hamad International Airport expansion project, scheduled for bidding in the fourth quarter.
Qatar is generating considerable interest in the infrastructure world as it will be hosting the 2022 World Cup.
“We are seeking construction projects in the Middle East, where several countries have been adopting policies to shift away from a heavy reliance on oil exports by developing new industries,” said a Korean government official.
BY LEE HO-JEONG [firstname.lastname@example.org]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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