Saudi Arabia, South Korea to set up advisory council

Sun, 2017-04-02 04:32

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and South Korea have agreed to form an advisory council to boost cooperation, enhance business networking and provide sustainable support to Saudi economic reform initiatives within the framework of Saudi Vision 2030.
The move to set up the council will allow both sides to understand opportunities and engage more intensively for growth and development of the two countries.
“South Korea, which has supported the successful implementation of Vision 2030, is looking to establish the advisory council,” said Kwon Pyung-oh, Korean ambassador, on Sunday.
He pointed out that “the advisory council is the product of an agreement endorsed by the Korean president and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the occasion of the G-20 Summit last September.”
Kwon said that about 100 officials from the two countries held discussions in February and mapped out plans for cooperation in a number of areas. The potential areas include energy, including nuclear, renewable and new energy industries; manufacturing of automobiles and shipbuilding; health care; construction and plants; and games and entertainment.
The policy areas for cooperation include small and medium enterprises (SMEs), government digitization, and government policy think tanks. The envoy noted the recent visit and contribution to the project by Minister of Economy and Planning Adel Fakeih to South Korea.
“Fakieh met with Korea’s acting president and prime minister, as well as various ministers and top officials,” said the ambassador. The Saudi minister described Korea as a “core partner” of Saudi Arabia as it implements Vision 2030.
Additionally, a memorandum of understanding to enhance bilateral SME partnerships was signed earlier this month. He said that cooperation in these areas will be developed further.
“I am looking forward to the upcoming 18th Saudi-Korea Joint Committee session scheduled for later this year in Seoul,” said Kwon, while referring to the political situation in South Korea. He said that a snap presidential election will be held on May 9.
“Until a new president is duly elected, acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn will continue to exercise authority over all important functions of the government,” said the envoy.
The most important functions include strengthening national security amid increasing threats from North Korea; conducting foreign affairs in close consultation with partners like Saudi Arabia; and managing the country’s financial, economic and trade sectors, he observed.
“In fact, he has been holding down the governmental fort since last December, when the legislature voted for the impeachment,” said Kwon.

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