Data gathered in January 2022 showed that South Korea came third place among Qatar’s top Asian liquified natural gas buyers.
There has been no confirmed plans to invite world famous South Korean boy band for performances during cultural events as part of the embassy’s events in Qatar, despite reports by local media.
The South Korean embassy in Doha confirmed there are no specific K-pop bands that are being considered for an invite for these cultural nights, after several media outlets reported that K-pop band Bangtan Sonyeondan, widely known as BTS, will be performing in the Gulf country.
With several Qatar-based social media accounts dedicated to this band, hailing thousands of followers, BTS sees a massive fanbase in the Gulf nation which makes a possible invitation for their performance a particularly much-awaited one.
One such representation of BTS fan group, QATAR BTS ARMY, marked the eighth anniversary of the K-pop group through a series of small events from the start of June 2021 to its grand finale on 13 June.
The dedicated fanbase members first donated to the Qatar Red Crescent Society’s “We are all Palestine” campaign. For their next event, the participants were asked to post their feedback on the BTS Meal, which was then followed by “Dress up like BTS,” asking the participants to dress up in close likeness with BTS members.
The reports come as the South Korean embassy in Doha announced plans to carry out a series of cultural events as well as taekwondo matches ahead of the much-anticipated FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Through bringing cultural and athletic performers from South Korea, the embassy is keen on promoting Korean culture and enticing more natives to visit Qatar during the major football tournament, scheduled to be held from 21 November to 18 December.
With its 10th consecutive appearance at the World Cup and its 11th overall, South Korea is the 15th nation to qualify for the 32-team field.
South Korea envoy to Doha, Joon-ho Lee said that “bilateral ties [between Qatar and South Korea] are not only limited in the energy and construction [field], we are expanding [to other areas],” as quoted by media outlets.
South Korea is among the largest trading partners of Doha and one of the biggest importers of the Gulf nation’s liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Qatar and South Korea’s LNG relations
Doha has long been a major supplier of LNG to Seoul as part of long-term contracts between the two countries. In 2021, a leading Korean shipbuilding company won a North Field expansion project contract from state-owned QatarEnergy.
In July 2021, Korean Gas Corporation (KOGAS), Seoul’s state-run company, inked a 20-year agreement with QatarEnergy, at the time known as Qatar Petroleum.
Qatar and South Korea’s overall bilateral trade reached five billion dollars in the first half of 2021 alone, representing a 29% increase in comparison to the year 2020.
The energy sector is responsible for a large portion of trade ties between the two countries, with Seoul importing an estimated 38 mtpa (million tonnes per annum) of LNG from both Qatar and Australia.
In 2021, Doha’s LNG shipments to Seoul reached almost 10 mtpa, accounting for at least 30% of the country’s energy demands, rendering the Gulf state as South Korea’s largest LNG supplier.
More recently, South Korea’s shipbuilders have started to receive the first construction orders as part of a major deal with QatarEnergy, which could potentially see more than 100 LNG carriers built by the year 2027.
Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering secured a place as the first shipbuilder to win orders for Qatar’s LNG carrier which is in line with its expansion project. It announced that it has landed orders for four LNG ships with a cargo capacity of 174,000 cubic meters.
The total contract value, reportedly, amounted to $857.9 million, with each ship priced at $214.47 million.