On July 25, 2018, the Sultanate of Oman and the Republic of Korea (ROK) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to cooperate in building a smart city in the Gulf country.
This move is likely to help the Korean firms to participate in the development projects. The government officials said, it will assist these firms to enter the smart city-related sectors of the Middle East, including water management, public safety, and information and communication networks.
The signing of memorandum was a part of the one-day Omani-Korean Business Forum in Oman in the event of Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon’s visit. The forum was aimed at introducing a study on the importance of projects, factors and investment areas in the smart cities sector in the Special Economic Zone in Duqm (SEZD), a port town in the central-eastern area of the country.
The Oman-Korea MoU was signed by Dr Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidy (Minister of Commerce and Industry, Oman), and Son Byeong Suk (Vice Minister of Land and Infrastructure, Republic of Korea). It comes within the outline of the factors that are required by the economic zones, such as SEZD by establishing these Smart Cities.
The aim of developing the special economic zone in Duqm is to diversify Oman’s national economy. According to the website of Duqm Special Economic Zone Authority, it holds eight main areas, including an oil refinery, a port, and the commercial, residential and tourism area.
After holding a meeting with Oman’s deputy Prime Minister Asa’ad bin Tariq Al Said, Lee said, “The two countries have developed cooperation in the energy sector. South Korea hopes to join Oman’s long-term national development projects.”
“In particular, we hope that South Korea can become the main partner in developing the special economic zone in Duqm,” he added.
The deal was expected to be widely inked in September. However, the schedule was advanced as Oman’s deputy prime minister for external relations proposed to sign the contract early, during Lee’s trip.