SEOUL (Rahnuma): Crown Prince ’s history-making visit to South Korea has taken Saudi Arabia a step closer to achieving its Vision 2030 economic transformation following the establishment of a joint “Vision Realization Office” that will expand business cooperation between the two countries beyond their traditional oil partnership.
The crown prince met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the presidential Blue House after being welcomed by Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon at a VIP airfield in Seongnam, south of Seoul, earlier on Wednesday. It is the first visit to South Korea by an heir to the throne of the world’s largest oil exporter in more than two decades.
The crown prince, who also serves as deputy prime minister and minister of defense, stressed that he would invest more in South Korea, focusing on expanding bilateral collaboration in the fields of energy, automotive, tourism and health.
“South Korea has made tremendous success in Saudi Arabia. I hope South Korea will do the same to further improve the bilateral relationship,” the crown prince was quoted by a Blue House spokesman as saying.
“People of both countries will thrive through cooperation in the sectors of defense and economy.”
Moon pledged to provide full support for Saudi Arabia’s efforts to diversify its economic portfolio, breaking away from its dependence on the energy segment.
The two leaders discussed ways of boosting their relationship, with a focus on the new industrial sectors of information and communications technology, hydrogen energy, robots, health, medical service and culture.
Both sides “reaffirmed their strategic partnership regarding Saudi Vision 2030,” a joint press release said. “In this regard, the two leaders agreed to set up the ‘Vision Realization Office’ in both Riyadh and Seoul, respectively, as part of efforts to expedite bilateral efforts for the successful Vision 2030 partnership.”
At a luncheon hosted by Moon, South Korea’s business tycoons greeted the crown prince and other Saudi delegates.
Among the business leaders were Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics; Chung Eui-sun, vice chairman of Hyundai Motor Group; Chey Tae-won, chairman of SK Group; LG chairman Koo Kwang-mo; and Chung Ki-sun, senior executive vice president of Hyundai Heavy Industries.
“I hope companies from both nations can set up a strategic and cooperative relationship through vibrant business activity,” the crown prince said.
Later in the day, he was invited to Samsung’s VIP guesthouse in Itaewon, Seoul, for more discussions on business partnerships with young South Korean representatives, a Samsung spokesman told Arab News.