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Publisher: Maaal International Media Company
*By: Prof. Alaa Alghamdi
On Monday, the 23rd of October, Saudi Arabia and South Korea signed a deal in Riyadh to mark five decades of construction cooperation between these two countries. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman joined forces to sign $15.6 billion worth of agreements and memorandums of understanding (MOUs) during a bilateral investment forum and summit in Riyadh. The collection of 52 deals and proposals will span across various sectors, including oil, hydrogen, and medical products, including a deal involving Korea National Oil Corp. and Saudi Aramco, creating a joint crude oil reserve of 5.3 million barrels in Ulsan, South Korea, by 2028, and also a $2.4 billion contract between Aramco and South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction to build a new state of the art fuel processing plant.
Another MOU of note that was signed into fruition during the historic meeting was the solidification of the Strategic Partnership Council (SPC) between the two nations. This partnership was formulated in 2022, and its objectives and tasks were announced at last year’s forum. The SPC’s purpose is to effectively coordinate and activate joint projects between the two countries and will serve as a platform to facilitate collaboration and communication on matters related to trade, investment, technology transfer, and cultural exchange. The signing of this particular MOU marks a substantial milestone in the relationship between the two nations and exemplifies their dedication to supporting their strategic partnership. The exhibition was attended by several government agencies, such as the Ministry of Investment, the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA), the Royal Commission for the City of Riyadh, the Economic Cities and Regions Authority, the National Transformation Program, the Saudi Vision 2030, and National Housing. The forum and accompanying exhibition served as a source of inspiration, providing attendees with a glimpse of the vast array of investment prospects available across a range of sectors, highlighting the services and incentives available to investors, hoping to inspire individuals to pursue their investment goals.
While addressing an audience of over 2,000 students at King Saud University, President Yoon highlighted the crucial part that the upcoming generations play in driving progress and creativity and reaffirmed his commitment to broadening educational prospects for young people in Saudi Arabia. He promised to enlarge the availability of scholarships, making it easier for more Saudi students to pursue their studies in South Korea and gain an in-depth understanding of the Korean language, culture, and diverse academic fields. During the forum, the leaders of both countries engaged in constructive and creative discussions on optimizing available resources to achieve mutually beneficial and long-term circumstances for both countries. They also exchanged views on existing regional and worldwide developments and discussed other topics of common interest to all parties involved. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is actively seeking to strengthen its collaboration with South Korea in the development and supply of clean fuel technology, which comes at a time when the KSA has been making significant strides toward achieving its ambitious Vision 2030 objectives.
* Saudi Academic & Writer