Riyadh: The President of South Korea visited Saudi Arabia, signifying a notable development in the diplomatic ties between the two countries. During this visit, they signed 51 important agreements, further enhancing cooperation across different sectors and strengthening their strategic partnership.
Among the key agreements, cooperation in the fields of investment and trade stood out as a pivotal element, fortifying economic ties and streamlining the exchange of goods and services. Additionally, cooperation in energy and industry was a cornerstone of the bilateral relationship, underlining their commitment to mutual development.
One of the most notable pacts to emerge from this visit was the agreement between the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia and Hyundai Motor to establish a car manufacturing factory in the Kingdom. PIF will have a 70% stake, while Hyundai will own 30%. The project involves over 1.8 billion riyals in investments and targets an annual production of 50,000 cars, including electric and internal combustion engine vehicles, starting in 2026.
Moreover, the National Korean Oil Company and Saudi Aramco joined forces to establish a joint crude oil reserve of 5.3 million barrels in a storage facility in Ulsan, South Korea, to be realized by 2028. Additionally, the Hydrogen Oasis cooperation initiative seeks to develop the hydrogen value chain, from production to distribution and utilization, fostering innovation and sustainability in the energy sector.
South Korea’s investment in Saudi Arabia reached a remarkable $15.6 billion, spanning various strategic projects. Notably, $5 billion was allocated for the Green Hydrogen project, $2 billion for the Smart Infrastructure project, and $3 billion for the Renewable Energy project.
Importance of the Visit
The visit holds immense importance as it fortifies bilateral relationships, enhances collaboration in vital sectors, and actively backs Saudi Vision 2030, the Kingdom’s blueprint for economic expansion and diversification.
These agreements build upon the foundation of $29 billion in memoranda of understanding and contracts signed during the Saudi Crown Prince’s visit to Seoul a year ago. Notably, over 60% of these projects are already advancing, including the establishment of the “Shaheen” petrochemical plant in Ulsan and a joint capital fund worth $160 billion.
South Korean companies have also actively participated in bids for projects worth $25 billion tied to Saudi Vision 2030, further cementing the notion of Saudi Arabia as an attractive investment destination for foreign investors. This visit and the agreements signed highlight Saudi Arabia’s unwavering commitment to realizing its 2030 vision and underline its significance as a strategic partner for global cooperation and investment.