Bigbang Angels Joins Korea-UAE Business Investment Forum to Expand Startup Opportunities

Bigbang Angels, a Korean startup accelerator, announced its participation in the Korea-UAE Business Investment Forum, co-hosted by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy of Korea and the UAE Ministry of Economy in Seoul on May 28th. The forum facilitated meetings with key Middle Eastern partners, including global startup hub Hub 71, the UAE’s largest financial institution First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), and Dubai Science Park.

The forum, initiated during President of Korea Yoon Suk Yeol’s state visit to the UAE in January 2023, reconvened in Seoul after 16 months, coinciding with the visit of UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Approximately 200 business leaders from both nations attended.

Korean attendees included Bigbang Angels CEO Hwang Byung-sun and Vice President Kwon Hyuk-chan, along with representatives from Medytox, Bespin Global, Yanolja, Wemade, POSCO, Korea Aerospace Industries, Kakao Mobility, and Kakao Enterprise, all expressing interest in expanding into the UAE market.

The UAE delegation included Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Abdullah Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and officials from the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and FAB International.

Since establishing diplomatic ties in 1980, Korea and the UAE have fostered close cooperation in energy, water facilities, and infrastructure. Bilateral trade, less than $200 million initially, has surged over 40 years, making the UAE Korea’s 14th largest trading partner as of late 2023.

The forum featured discussions on cooperation in clean energy, ICT and telecommunications, and logistics, manufacturing, and trade through the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). Following the event, individual meetings fostered further discussions on bilateral cooperation.

During these discussions, Bigbang Angels engaged with Ahmad Ali Alwan, CEO of Abu Dhabi Hub71, Clarence Singam-Zhou, Head of First Abu Dhabi Bank, and Marwan Abdulaziz Janahi, Vice President of Dubai Science Park, to deliberate on the prospects of the Korean-Chinese startup ecosystem, market trends, and promising investment sectors.

Established in 2017, Hub71 is a global tech and startup support organization located in Abu Dhabi Global Market, home to Wemade’s Middle East branch, Wemix MENA. Backed by the UAE sovereign wealth fund Mubadala, Hub71 plays a pivotal role in Abu Dhabi’s economic development. Its key partners include the Mubadala Fund, Abu Dhabi Global Market, and Abu Dhabi Investment Office, and it boasts a robust investment support infrastructure with 24 venture capital firms.

Dubai Science Park, owned by the state-owned TECOM Group, is a thriving business hub for international companies. It offers essential facilities for laboratories, offices, and warehouses, attracting global players like Jotun, a renowned Dutch paint and coatings manufacturer.

Kwon Hyuk-chan, Vice President of Big Bang Angels, stated, “Big Bang Angels will continue to actively assist Korean startups in expanding into the Middle East by collaborating with various partners, including Hub71.”

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