Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong has left for a three-day business trip to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday. Ten days after returning from the U.S., Lee is on another business trip to meet with local influential figures, including Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan and discuss future business cooperation in the fields of 5G communications and semiconductors.
After attending a trial over a controversial merger of Samsung C&T and Samsung Biologics at the Seoul Central District Court on Monday, Lee boarded a private plane to the UAE at the Gimpo International Airport at 10 p.m. The trial was held every Thursday but was moved to Monday this week due to the circumstances at the court, giving Lee 10 days until the next trial on Dec. 16.
Vice Chairman Lee’s last trip to the Middle East was two years ago in February 2019. At that time, Lee met with the Abu Dhabi crown prince, who is the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and discussed ways to strengthen business-to-business cooperation between the two countries in the fields of 5G communications, semiconductors and vaccines.
Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed visited Korea immediately after Lee’s trip to Abu Dhabi in February 2019 and showed strong willingness for cooperation by visiting Samsung Electronics’ Hwaseong plant with Lee on the first day of his visit.
This time, Lee is expected to meet with Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, who is Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority and is considered the number two man in the UAE.
According to the business sector, Vice Chairman Lee is expected to tap into an ICT market and make future strategies for 5G, system semiconductor, and biotechnology. Lee was scheduled to visit Abu Dhabi in January this year to meet with local high-ranking officials, but the trip was temporarily delayed as had been sentenced to 30 months in prison.
All eyes have been one whether Samsung Electronics will be able to increase its presence in key markets in the Middle East, including the UAE as the U.S. reportedly pressed the UAE to remove Huawei Technologies from its telecommunications network in June. The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority is a sovereign wealth fund, which is the largest shareholder of Global Foundry, the fourth largest foundry company in the world. Vice chairman Lee is scheduled to return to Korea on Thursday after visiting the Middle East region, including Abu Dhabi.
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