UAE_President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
This file handout photo, released by the Saudi Royal Palace on May 31, 2019, shows the UAE's Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan during a meeting in the Saudi holy city of Mecca; he became the UAE president after the death of his half-brother Saudi Royal Palace via AFP / BANDAR AL-JALOUD

The United Arab Emirates and South Korea signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) to encourage direct investments and strengthen supply chains.

The agreement was signed at a summit in Seoul on Wednesday to reduce import duties and create closer business and investment relationships between the two countries.

President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his South Korean counterpart Yoon Suk Yeol witnessed the signing of the landmark agreement. It was signed by Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Ahn Duk-geun, Minister of Trade and Industry and Energy of the Republic of Korea.

In a joint statement on the agreement, both sides said that the South Korean president invited Al Nahyan for a state visit to Korea from May 28 to May 29, and the summit meeting was held at the Presidential Office.

"During the summit, the two leaders agreed to deepen and further develop the Special Strategic Partnership between the two countries," the statement read, as per Khaleej Times.

It further stated that the two leaders expressed their steadfast commitment to strengthening strategic cooperation in priority fields such as "economy and investment, conventional energy and clean energy, peaceful nuclear energy, and defense and defense technology and cybersecurity."

The agreement will also strengthen other areas of mutual interest such as infrastructure, high-tech industry, space, water technology, information and communication technology, SMEs and startups, agriculture, maritime transportation, civil aviation, education, culture, and healthcare.

"Both leaders also explored the scope for trilateral cooperation with other partners, and exchanged their perspectives on extremism," the statement added.

The two leaders also witnessed the signing of several agreements and Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) regarding the economy, investment, conventional energy, clean energy, peaceful nuclear energy, infrastructure, and culture sectors.

Al Nahyan and Suk Yeol also spoke about North Korea's continued "provocations and ballistic missile launches, including a recent so-called "satellite" launch that put neighboring countries in danger and undermined stability and security of the region and beyond."

The UAE and South Korea expressed deep concern regarding the heightened nuclear rhetoric by the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) and urged the country to respect and abide by international law and return to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.