Korea Aims to Help Saudi Arabia Achieve ‘Saudi Vision 2030’
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Korea Aims to Help Saudi Arabia Achieve ‘Saudi Vision 2030’
President Yoon holds talks with Saudi Crown Prince bin Salman to further promote ties between two countries; both sides strike 26 deals

25(Fri), Nov, 2022

President Yoon Suk-yeol has a working luncheon with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the presidential residence in Hanam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, on Nov. 17. (Photo on the courtesy of the Office of the President)

President Yoon Suk-yeol held talks with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Nov. 17 to discuss ways of promoting mutual relations between the two countries. 

In particular, they had an in-depth discussion on Saudi Arabia’s futuristic “Neom City” project. 

Crown Prince bin Salman asked for cooperation with Korea in the energy, defense industry, infrastructure and construction sectors related to Saudi Arabia’s “Vision 2030,” designed to move the Middle Eastern country away from an oil-centric economy.

The president held individual and extended talks with the crown prince and later hosted an official luncheon with bin Salman, whose visit marked the 60th anniversary of bilateral relations, the Office of the President said.

President Yoon said, “Saudi Arabia is Korea’s largest trading partner in the Middle East, and a partner in overseas construction, as well as a core partner in our economic and energy security.”

“Saudi Arabia is opening a new future through its ‘Vision 2030’ led by Crown Prince Mohammed, so now is the right time to raise bilateral ties to a new level.”

He said, “I hope that both countries can further expand and develop cooperation in investment collaboration in new growth sectors, participation in mega projects such as Neom city, cooperation in the defense industry, development of future energy sources like hydrogen, and boosting cultural exchanges and tourism.”

Crown Prince bin Salman said, “Since diplomatic ties were formed, Korean companies have greatly contributed to developing the national infrastructure of Saudi Arabia,” adding, “I hope to bolster our cooperation with Korea to realize the Saudi Vision 2030 based on the mutual trust built in this process.”

The crown prince said he especially hoped to “drastically bolster” bilateral cooperation in the three sectors of energy, the defense industry, and infrastructure and construction.

Through this summit, both sides agreed to further develop bilateral ties into a “future-oriented strategic partnership” and set up a “strategic partnership committee” to this end.

Korea, Saudi Arabia Strike 26 Contracts & MOUs 

Korea and Saudi Arabia signed 26 investment agreements and MOUs. The value of the projects they agreed to implement is estimated at about 40 trillion won. 

Given the Saudi side’s strong determination over the implementation of the projects, there is high hope that a “second Middle East boom” will take place for Korean businesses. 

Korea and Saudi Arabia held an investment forum at the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Nov. 17, and struck a combined 26 MOUs in diverse industry areas. 

The agreements include 17 deals inked between Korean companies, including public entities, and Saudi institutions and companies, and three others signed between S-OIL, a company invested in by Saudi Arabia, and Korean construction companies. 

Saudi Arabia is implementing the $500 billion Neom City project. It is a core part of “Saudi Vision 2030,” launched by Saudi Crown Prince bin Salman.

Hyundai Rotem, a railway car maker of Hyundai Motor Group, inked an MOU to build railway infrastructure in Neom with Saudi MISA. 

The agreement calls for both sides to jointly develop hydrogen locomotives. The Korean side is seeking to land a high-speed railway order. 

Korean companies, such as Samsung C&T, Korean Southern Power (KOSPO), Korea National Oil Corp., POSCO and KEPCO singed MOUs on green hydrogen/ammonia projects, coupled with the Neom city project, with the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia. 

Besides, Samsung C&T agreed to implement “Neom Beta Community,” a 10,000-unit dormitory, to be built with a steel modular method. 

In the petrochemical sector, Lotte Precision Chemical struck an MOU to build a precision chemical production center in Saudi Arabia with Saudi MISA. DL Chemical did the same in the petrochemical sector with the Saudi side. 

MOLIT Minister Won Leads Delegation to Attract Orders on ‘Neom City’ 

As the government aims to achieve $50 billion (about 70 trillion won) in winning construction orders for this year, a delegation, led by Minister Won Hee-ryong of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT), left for Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia on Nov. 4.
The group aims to make inroads into mega projects, such as Neom City Project, the Middle Eastern country plans to implement. 

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