RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and South Korea have identified 40 joint projects as part of their joint collaboration within the framework of Saudi Vision 2030. “The two countries have also launched a joint panel to pursue the implementation of the projects as Vision 2030 spurs exciting opportunities in several sectors,” said Dr. Kwon Pyung-oh, South Korean ambassador, here on Sunday.
Kwon said: “Riyadh and Seoul are rapidly expanding cooperation in diverse sectors, and most of these areas directly touch upon the daily lives of the Saudi people. They are also central to the Saudi government’s job-creation initiatives.” He said an exclusive Saudi-Korea Vision 2030 committee with the goal of institutionalizing the economic partnership has been formed and serves as a one-stop shop to manage and oversee progress.
He said the two sides have identified the projects across the five key sectors, namely “energy and manufacturing, smart infrastructure and digitalization, capacity building, health care and life sciences, as well as SMEs and Investment.”
He pointed out that “our two countries have made substantial headway across 16 cooperation projects over the past five months.” To this end, Kwon recalled the strong bonds of friendship between the countries that stretch back more than five decades. “In the 1970s and 80s, Korea played a key part in the development of infrastructure in Saudi Arabia,” said the envoy.
The diplomat pointed out that Saudi Arabia is Korea’s sixth largest source of imports and a primary energy provider. Korea is the Kingdom’s fifth largest export market, said Kwon, who will shortly be leaving the Kingdom on completion of his tenure. On his return to Seoul, he will join the state-owned Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) as its chief executive officer and president.
Asked about Korea’s bid to build large-size nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia, he said: “KEPCO (Korea Electricity Power Co.) has already submitted a proposal to the Saudi government to participate in the National Project for Atomic Energy which is expected to transform Saudi Arabia’s energy industry.” He said Korea had earned “a reputation for building world-class nuclear reactors – on time and within budget over the last 40 years.”
“KEPCO is the world’s first and only contractor with experience of building a nuclear reactor in a desert environment and climate very similar to that of Saudi Arabia – at the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant in the UAE.”
KOTRA, which he will join immediately after his return from the Kingdom, maintains an extensive global business network comprising 127 overseas offices across 86 countries, including Saudi Arabia. KOTRA opened its office in the Kingdom in 1973, which has served as a linchpin of Saudi-Korean business ties for the past 45 years.

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