Investment Corporation of Dubai, the sovereign wealth fund of Dubai, has signed a preliminary agreement with the Export-Import Bank of Korea (Kexim) to work together on investment projects across Asia, Middle East and Africa.

Kexim is a government-backed trade finance agency providing export finance and support for overseas projects involving South Korean companies.

South Korea already has a well-established relationship with Dubai, with trade flows with the emirate exceeding $10bn in 2013. Moreover, the Asian country’s engineering and construction companies have won a number of contracts throughout the Middle East region.

Between 2009 and mid-2013,  South Korean contractors won more than $123bn-worth of work in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena), according to regional projects tracker MEED Projects. Saudi Arabia is one of South Korea’s biggest markets.

Under the terms of South Korea’s new alliance with Dubai, the two parties will explore joint investment opportunities beyond the Middle East and will initially focus on healthcare, infrastructure and energy sectors.