The state visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to South Korea gave shape to large-scale projects worth 29 billion U.S. dollars. Under the project, the public agencies and companies of Korea and Saudi Arabia will cooperate in 26 business areas, including energy, construction, and bio-industry. Expectations are high on the economy making a rebound out of the current global recession, as it did in the 1970s under the cooperation with the Middle East.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol had a dialogue with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. He arrived in the country on Thursday morning and had a luncheon at his residence in Hannam-dong, Seoul. Bin Salman was the first guest from abroad invited to President Yoon's residence since he moved to the residence on Nov. 7. "Saudi Arabia is our key partner in the economy and energy security," President Yoon said. The Saudi Arabian crown prince responded that he "is eager to dramatically enhance cooperation with South Korea in three sectors: energy, defense, and infrastructure and construction."
Major firms of Korea and the government, institutions, and businesses of Saudi Arabia signed a total of 26 investment contracts and MOUs at the same time on the day of the '2022 Korea-Saudi Arabia Investment Forum' held at the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The agreements covered 40 trillion-dollar worth of projects. Unlike back in the days when the scope of collaborations between the two countries had been mostly limited to construction, the projects signed on the day ranged from petrochemicals and clean energy to pharmaceuticals, games, and bio-industry. Around 30 Korean firms joined the projects, and 63 Saudi companies visited Korea for the signing. "Looking forward to the enhanced relations between the two nations under the initiative of 'Saudi Vision 2030,' I urge Korean companies to join the massive projects such as 'Red Sea Project,'" said Fahad Saad Wallan, chairman of Wallan Trading Group, at the forum on Thursday.
Korean business leaders were slated for the dialogue with bin Salman who set foot on Korean soil in two years and five months. The crown prince had a one-hour-long meeting with eight business moguls: Executive Chairman Lee Jae-yong of Samsung Electronics, Chairman Chey Tae-won of SK Inc., Chairman Chung Eui-sun of Hyundai Motor, Vice Chairman Kim Dong-kwan of Hanwha Group, Chairman of Lee Jay-hyun of CJ Group, Chairman Park Jeong-won of Doosan Group, Chairman Lee Hae-wook of Daelim Industrial, and President Chung Ki-sun of Hyundai Heavy Industry Group. They shared their company's ongoing projects in Saudi Arabia and their cooperation strategies for Saudi Arabia's megaproject 'Neom City.'
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