South Korea and Saudi Arabia Ink 51 Agreements Worth $15.6 Billion During State Visit

RIYADH - South Korea and Saudi Arabia are set to sign 51 deals and memorandums of understanding (MOU) amounting to $15.6 billion. The agreements will be formalized on Sunday and Monday during various events, including a bilateral investment forum and a ceremony marking 50 years of construction cooperation between the two nations.

According to a new release by Yonhap News Agency, Choi Sang-mok, the agreements follow a summit meeting between South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The scope of the contracts and MOUs is broad, encompassing sectors such as crude oil, hydrogen energy, statistics, food, and medical products. A noteworthy contract involves a collaboration between the Korea National Oil Corp. and Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia's state-run oil giant. This partnership aims to create a joint crude oil reserve of 5.3 million barrels at a storage facility in Ulsan, South Korea, by 2028. South Korea will hold priority purchasing rights for the oil during supply and demand emergencies and will earn rent over a five-year lease period.

Moreover, the governments plan to launch a "hydrogen oasis cooperation initiative." This initiative will establish separate working groups dedicated to various aspects of the hydrogen value chain, including its production, distribution, and use. Both governments will systematically support relevant projects between businesses in their respective countries.

Additionally, the statistical agencies of the two countries will sign an agreement to share information and material related to statistical production. Choi Sang-mok informed reporters that these new agreements would supplement the $29 billion worth of MOUs and contracts signed during the Crown Prince's visit to Seoul last November. He confirmed that more than 60 percent of those projects had seen tangible results, such as the groundbreaking of the Shaheen petrochemical plant in Ulsan and a $160 million joint venture capital fund.

South Korean companies have also been active in bidding for projects connected to Neom, a $500 billion initiative aimed at developing eco-friendly and smart cities in Saudi Arabia's northwestern Tabuk Province. Choi stated that President Yoon plans to request Crown Prince Mohammed's active interest and support for South Korean companies seeking contracts in these development projects.

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