Increasing opportunities driven by South Korea’s continuing growth
Country’s automotive industry is the fifth-largest in the world by automobile production and sixth-largest by export volume
South Korea’s booming trade relationship with the UAE is providing lucrative opportunities for the country’s automotive industry, according to the managing director of a leading UAE-based automotive aftermarket distributor.
The UAE is South Korea’s largest export market in the Middle East, and currently the second largest Middle Eastern market for South Korean investments. The volume of mutual investments between the two countries was estimated to reach US$ 3.24 billion last year.
Asad Badami, Managing Director of A-MAP, one of the region’s most successful distributors of vehicle spare parts, says that companies like his stand to significantly benefit from such robust trade links.
The East Asian country’s huge automotive industry is the fifth-largest in the world by automobile production and the sixth-largest by export volume – statistics that Badami says reveal a fertile market for organisations supplying aftermarket vehicle components.
“South Korea’s economy is ranked fourth in Asia after Japan, China and India, and 15th worldwide. Clearly, the country has a proven ability to steer its economy effectively. Indeed, South Korea was one of the first to recover from the global financial crisis that is still impacting other countries heavily,” said Badami.
A-MAP is already the exclusive distributor of the superior, Korean-made Solite batteries to more than 40 countries across the Middle East, North and South Africa, GCC and CIS countries. Solite is the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) for automotive batteries in both Hyundai and Kia vehicles.
“The strong and improving industry ties that the UAE has forged, and continues to forge, will bolster our capabilities to supply South Korean car components such as Solite batteries to the UAE, particularly as more companies look to tie up regionally. The bilateral ties will also increase the likelihood of exporting more vehicles to the UAE, which also affords us a wealth of opportunities,” he added.
There are currently approximately 300 Korean companies registered in the UAE and over 12,000 Korean residents in the country. Traveller figures have been growing too, with the number of annual visitors between the UAE and South Korea jumping from 70,000 in 2010 to 100,000 in 2011. Such increases are indicative of South Korean firms and investors’ growing enthusiasm for the UAE, and Dubai in particular, a regional business hub.
Recent efforts to strengthen the two countries’ already buoyant relationship include The Dubai Airport Freezone hosting seminars in Seoul, the South Korean capital, and Busan, its second largest city, to outline the benefits of doing business with the UAE.
A-MAP, which has more than doubled in size since its inception in 2010, specialises in the distribution of automotive batteries, tyres, spare parts and lubricants. Its significant brand names include Solite batteries, Asimco brake pads, Fenix tyres, and RBI rubber products. The organisation participated at last month’s Automechanika exhibition in Dubai, the largest automotive aftermarket industry trade show in the region, where it displayed its exclusively-distributed Solite brand of batteries to regional and international customers, and potential buyers.