Korea and Saudi Arabia will strengthen cooperation on seven new cutting edge and rapidly growing industries.
The seven sectors are shipbuilding, automobiles, petrochemicals, renewable energy, the defense industry, the construction of desalination plants, and refurbishing and remodeling old factories.
Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Joo Hyung-hwan held a series of meetings with high-profile Saudi Arabian officials to discuss cooperation measures that would help Saudi Arabia carry out its Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan, in Riyadh on April 4. The officials included Minister of Economy and Planning Adel bin Muhammad Fakeih, Minister of Energy, Industry Khalid Al-Falih, Minister of Commerce and Investment Majed Al Qasabi, and Amin Nasser, president and CEO of Saudi Aramco.
Announced by the Saudi Arabian government in April last year, Saudi Vision 2030 is a set of policy guidelines designed to foster the seven new growth industries and to create jobs, all in order to reduce Saudi Arabia's dependence on oil and to diversify its economy. Saudi Arabia has chosen Korea as one of its five strategic cooperation partners to realize the Saudi Vision 2030.
During the meetings, Minister Joo proposed the establishment of a “Vision 2030 Joint Group,” a ministerial level consultation body between Seoul and Riyadh. This consultation body would be designed to help implement Saudi Vision 2030 so that they could review and discuss measures to implement the new policies.
Minister Joo also discussed with the Saudi officials the establishment of a jointly-run shipbuilding dock between Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries and Saudi Aramco, the Saudi oil and gas company. Other issues discussed among the Korean and Saudi Arabian officials included the establishment of a joint corporation for manufacturing high-added-value polyethylene between Sabic and SK Global Chemical, supporting Ssangyong Motors in the production of automobiles in Saudi Arabia, and the building of a joint corporation in the defense industries in order to produce ammunition and armored cars.
President and CEO of Saudi Aramco Amin Nasser welcomed Korean firms’ participation in the bidding, saying that, “Saudi Arabia was able to transform Jubayl into the largest petrochemical complex in the world, from just an expanse of wild land, thanks to the successful port construction project undertaken by Hyundai Construction in the 1970s.”