Tech Korean blockchain firm picks Abu Dhabi for global HQ By Andy Sambidge July 10, 2023 WAM South Korean blockchain firm Neoply joins Abu Dhabi Investment Office’s Innovation Programme, which supports the growth of tech-focused industries in the emirate Neoply opens H-Lab in ADGM financial centre Firm joins Adio Innovation Programme Will build framework for decentralised finance sector Neoply, a South Korean blockchain technology company, is to establish its global headquarters in Abu Dhabi. The firm joins Abu Dhabi Investment Office’s (Adio) Innovation Programme, which is investing AED2 billion ($545 million) in supporting the growth of tech-focused industries in the emirate. Neoply is the blockchain arm of Neowiz Holdings, a prominent South Korean gaming venture. It provides a decentralised finance (de-fi) platform and other services based on blockchain. Blockchain is a decentralised public digital ledger used to record transactions. Neoply’s HQ – called H-Lab – will be located in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). Foreign investment in UAE surges to record $23bn K-beauty is not just a pretty face in Middle East Abu Dhabi’s G42 signs deal to improve UAE tech skills The company said it will create jobs in blockchain technology while H-Lab will work with Abu Dhabi universities to develop programmes and scholarships related to blockchain, Web 3.0 and de-fi. The company is also looking to participate in the ADGM’s Digital Lab and collaborate closely with the Financial Services Regulatory Authority to build a framework for the de-fi industry.In 2018, ADGM became the first jurisdiction to introduce a regulatory framework for exchanges, custodians, brokers and other intermediaries engaged in virtual asset activities. Non-oil trade between the UAE and South Korea totalled AED3.4 billion ($917 million) in the first two months of 2023, up 9 percent from the previous year. This was on the back of a 14 percent increase in 2022 to AED19.5 billion. The UAE is South Korea’s second-largest trade partner in the GCC and the Arab regions as of 2022. The eighth session of the UAE-South Korea Joint Economic Committee was recently held in Seoul, encouraging mutual investments across 11 strategic sectors including clean energy, SMEs, healthcare, smart farming and Infrastructure, space and tourism.