Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, has met with movers and shakers of the Middle East, including the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, to discuss how to promote cooperation in the IT sector.
Lee met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi in the UAE on Feb. 11 (local time) and discussed cooperation between Korean and UAE companies in the 5G and IT sectors, Middle Eastern media outlets reported on Feb. 12.
The crown prince is a half brother of UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He posted a picture of his meeting with Lee on his Twitter account.
Lee flew to China on Feb. 4 during the lunar New Year’s Day holiday period and checked on business issues in China. He then traveled to Europe and headed to Dubai again.
The two discussed ways for cooperation between UAE companies and Samsung Electronics in the field of information technology, and broadly exchanged opinions on other issues, said an industry insider. In March of last year, the crown prince invited President Moon Jae-in and First Lady Kim Jung-sook, who were visiting the UAE at the time, to his Sea Palace and had time for building friendship and talked about the desalination of seawater and nuclear power plants with them.
The meeting between Lee and the crown prince was realized when Lee attended the World Government Summit 2019, which was held in Dubai on Feb. 10, Middle East media outlets reported.
The World Government Summit is held annually in Dubai with the participation of government officials and influential people from countries around the world. This year, the participants included Ban Ki-mun, a former secretary general of the United Nations, Christine Lagarde, chairwoman of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and Angel Gurria, secretary general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
However, a Samsung official said Lee did not attend the meeting.
Recently, Lee has been practicing management by wandering around (MBWA), increasing visits to workplaces at home and abroad to check on the status of ongoing work. He focused on finding new growth business items when he returned to work after serving a prison sentence. Since the second half of last year, he has been visiting workplaces to check on major businesses including semiconductors and attending official events to represent Samsung.
“This reflects Lee’s strong will to directly cope with challenges facing Samsung Electronics such as falling prices of memory semiconductors, intensifying competition in key business areas such as smartphones and TVs and developing future growth engines,” said an industry watcher.