S. Korea, Saudi Arabia agree to strengthen cooperation

May 23, 2016, 10:24 am

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Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn held talks with Saudi's King, and signed five agreements.
Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn meets Saudi Arabia's foreign minister Adelbin Ahmed Al-Jubeir in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on May 21, 2016./ Source: YonhapNews


By AsiaToday reporter Choi Tae-beom = South Korea will strengthen its cooperation with major oil exporter Saudi Arabia in new fields such as medical service, renewable energy, and human resource development as well as traditional fields such as construction and energy.

Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn held talks with Saudi's king Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to discuss such ways to strengthen cooperation between the two countries on his second day of his official visit to Saudi Arabia on May 22, 2016. It marks the first time since 2005 that a South Korean prime minister visits the country. His Saudi visit came in a bid to maintain balancein the Middle East following President Park Geun-hye's visit to Iran earlier this month.

Hwang has asked Saudi Arabia to provide active support for South Korean firms to join Saudi Arabia's development plan 'Vision 2030'. The plan is Saudi Arabia's long term economic blueprint that will be implemented over the next 15 years in the hope of making the kingdom less reliant on crude and to invest in developing new industries.

With Hwang's visit, South Korea and Saudi Arabia signed five preliminary deals, including a memorandums of understanding (MoU) for political consultations between the ministries of foreign affairs in the two countries, an executive program for cooperation in the field of land transport, a program to attract investments, a MoU for cooperation in the field of combating crime, and a MoU for cooperation in new fields such as renewable energy and medical service.

After his talks with Saudi's king, the prime minister met Finance Minister Ibrahim bin Abdulaziz Al-Assaf, SABIC Chairman Saud bin Abdullah bin Thenayan Al-Saud, and Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Faleh to discuss ways to enhance bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries.

Earlier, Hwang held a meeting with South Korean nationals living in Saudi Arabia. He said, "South Korea and Saudi Arabia have diversified the scope of their cooperation. The purpose of this visit is to seek future-oriented relations with Saudi Arabia, which has been Korea's partner of economic growth over the past half-century as Korea's biggest crude oil supplier and the biggest overseas construction market."

Meanwhile, Hwang attended an opening ceremony of Ustyurt Gas Chemical Complex in Uzbekistan prior to his visit to Saudi Arabia. This is the largest business project between the two countries. The cost of the project is US$4 billion.

#S. Korea #Saudi Arabia #agreement #memorandum of understanding #MoU 
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