Saudi gifts Korea with $30 bn deals, invites more in energy, infrastructure

2022.11.18 09:37:01 | 2022.11.18 14:09:02

Mohammed bin Salman and President Yoon Suk-yeol [Source : Office of the President Republic of Korea]이미지 확대

Mohammed bin Salman and President Yoon Suk-yeol [Source : Office of the President Republic of Korea]

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gifted South Korea with 26 business deals worth $30 billion and invited Korean enterprises to the ambitious Saudi 2030 initiative to turn the oil-rich kingdom into sustainable energy and economic structure during his business-packed one-day stay in Seoul.

The royalty second to the king was the first visitor to President Yoon Suk-yeol’s renovated presidential residence in Hannam-dong in central Seoul and held discussions on a range of potential ties in the fields of energy, defense, and infrastructure and construction.

The two leaders agreed to set up a strategic partnership committee and promote joint projects in a more systematic and practical manner.

Korean companies have contributed greatly to Saudi Arabia’s national infrastructure development since diplomatic relations were established 60 years ago, Crown Prince Mohammed told Yoon.

He hoped to enhance ties with Korea to realize Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, specifically naming energy, defense, and infrastructure and construction. He anticipated Korean technology share in hydrogen energy and carbon capture technology as well as small nuclear reactor development and nuclear reactor workforce education.

“Saudi Arabia is Korea’s largest trade partner in the Middle East and also an overseas construction partner,” Yoon said. “We have been partners in economy and energy security. Now is the right time to upgrade bilateral ties to a new level.”

Saudi backed Seoul’s stern response to North Korea believed to be readying its seventh nuclear test.

During the Crown Prince’s visit, Korea and Saudi Arabia signed 26 memoranda of understanding (MoU) in celebration to the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties. The two governments opened a Korea-Saudi Investment Forum in central Seoul where investment agreements worth $30 billion were signed.

By Park In-hye, Lee Yoon-jae, Park Yoon-gyun, and Lee Eun-joo

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