Saudi crown prince voices strong desire to make S. Korea crucial partner for Vision 2030

By Lim Chang-won Posted : November 17, 2022, 17:13 Updated : November 17, 2022, 17:13

[Courtesy of South Korea's presidential office]

SEOUL -- Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman expressed his strong desire to make South Korea a crucial partner for his initiative to transform the desert kingdom from an oil-dependent economy to a knowledge-based economy. Many South Korean companies showed their sincere interest in the proposed construction of a Neom smart city powered by renewable energy on the coast of the Red Sea.

At talks with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol on November 17, Salman called for bilateral cooperation to help realize "Vision 2030," saying that South Korean companies have contributed greatly to the development of Saudi Arabia's national infrastructure, according to Yoon's office. The crown prince wanted South Korea's active participation in the fields of energy, defense, and infrastructure construction. 

Salman has launched a strong initiative to realize Vision 2030 with various unique and challenging features including a 170 km long linear urban development line. There could be risks and challenges involved in Saudi Arabia's large-scale projects associated with Neom that would cost some $500 billion, but it is commercially attractive enough to gain attention from a lot of South Korean companies. 

"Now that Saudi Arabia is opening a new future through 'Vision 2030' led by Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, it is the right time to take the relationship between the two countries to a new level," Yoon was quoted as saying. 

At a bilateral investment forum in Seoul, Saudi and South Korean business entities signed a series of preliminary business agreements to boost cooperation and investment in a wide range of sectors. The Saudi investment ministry signed a memorandum of understanding with Hyundai Rotem on a railway project.

The Public Investment Fund (PIF), the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, signed a preliminary agreement with five South Korean companies including, KEPCO, Korea Southern Power (KOSPO), Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC), POSCO, and Samsung C&T to conduct a preliminary feasibility study on building and operating a green hydrogen and ammonia production plant in Yanbu, a port city on the Red Sea coast.

Ammonia is considered an important part of a sustainable hydrogen ecosystem. The decarbonization of ammonia production is an integral part of the global transition to net-zero emissions. Saudi Arabia has launched a green initiative to reduce its dependence on oil and become a global leader in exports of hydrogen.  
기사 이미지 확대 보기