Achievement of attracting investment of 27 trillion won over 4 nights and 6 days
President Yoon Seok-yeol returned to Korea on the 26th with the achievement of attracting investments worth $20.2 billion (about 27 trillion won) during a 4-night, 6-day state visit to Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
This was the first time that the President of the Republic of Korea made a state visit to two countries. The President maximized his sales skills as ‘No. 1 salesperson’ during 4 days and 3 nights in Saudi Arabia and 2 days and 1 night in Qatar.
Including the results of this trip, the President’s Office estimated that the achievements achieved in the Big 3 countries of the Middle East, represented by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, over the past year alone were $79.2 billion (approximately 107 trillion won).
Above all, the indispensable achievement of this trip is that it set a much wider scope for economic cooperation with Saudi Arabia and Qatar. It is expected that the economic benefits to our companies and citizens will increase accordingly.
Completion of cooperation with the Big 3 countries in the Middle East
According to the President’s Office, following a $29 billion memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Saudi Arabia at the end of last year and a $30 billion investment promise from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) this year, a total of $20.2 billion was invested during this trip, including $15.6 billion from Saudi Arabia and $4.6 billion from Qatar. There were dollar-sized MOUs and contracts.
A huge playing field worth a total of $79.2 billion (approximately KRW 107 trillion) has been created for Korean companies seeking to enter the Big 3 markets in the Middle East.
During this visit to Saudi Arabia and Qatar, companies signed a total of 63 MOUs and contracts, and the overwhelming proportion of MOUs and contracts with participating companies were in new areas of cooperation related to Saudi Arabia’s ‘Vision 2030’ and Qatar’s ‘National Vision 2030’. is noteworthy.
In particular, the President’s Office said that the cooperation between Korea and Middle Eastern countries in building electric vehicles and ships together and drawing a new industrial map together was something that was difficult to imagine in the past, and was evaluated as a surprising change and remarkable achievement.
The ‘Middle East 1.0’ relationship, which was centered on the import and export of crude oil, was transformed into the so-called ‘Middle East 2.0’ based on decarbonization.
The President’s Office gave meaning to the transition to Middle East 2.0 as opening an era of joint prosperity between Korea and the Middle East, and opening a new window of opportunity for our people and businesses.
The government plans to provide systematic follow-up measures and support so that the results of cooperation between the two companies concluded during this trip to the Middle East can lead to exports, order wins, and the creation of quality jobs as soon as possible.
Preemptively win orders for mega projects such as Neom City
The President’s Office went on to say that this trip has solidified cooperation with Saudi Arabia and Qatar on ‘smart infrastructure’ and thus secured an early lead in winning orders for mega projects.
Infrastructure needs in the Middle East are completely transforming. While the first generation infrastructure demand was centered on civil engineering and construction, it is now changing to the third generation infrastructure represented by eco-friendly smart cities, following the second generation such as petrochemical plants and desalination facilities.
Technological prowess is the key to competitiveness in the smart infrastructure era.
During this trip, Korean companies with excellent digital and manufacturing technologies showed their presence in the smart infrastructure market in the Middle East by signing infrastructure orders worth $2.5 billion and signing multiple infrastructure cooperation MOUs.
In particular, as the leaders of Korea and Saudi Arabia agreed to cooperate together for the success of the Neom project, additional results are expected to be achieved from the end of the year in the $25 billion railroad tunnel and Oksagon port projects for which Korean companies are pursuing orders.
The government plans to actively support winning orders for mega projects such as Neom, Qiddiya, Red Sea, and Diriyah, in which Saudi Arabia has requested active participation from Korean companies.
Meanwhile, in relation to the signing of an MOU on ‘defense industry and military cooperation’ with Qatar, which has emerged as one of the major defense importing countries, attention is being paid to whether specific results in defense industry exports will be derived through mid- to long-term defense industry cooperation with Qatar in the future.
Strengthening energy security cooperation
The President’s Office evaluated that this trip served as an opportunity to further strengthen energy security cooperation with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which are global energy powers.
Following the ‘international joint reserve project’ worth 4 million barrels signed with the UAE last January, Korea’s ability to respond to energy security has been greatly strengthened by signing a joint reserve agreement with Saudi Arabia for 5.3 million barrels of crude oil.
We also discussed ways to provide a stable LNG supply with Qatar, and expanded the scope of cooperation to the entire LNG supply chain. In addition, HD Hyundai Heavy Industries signed a contract with Qatar Energy to build 17 LNG carriers worth $3.9 billion (5.2 trillion won).
In addition, hydrogen solidarity was established with key Middle East partner countries through the signing of the Hydrogen Oasis Cooperation Initiative and a blue ammonia production cooperation contract worth $15.5 billion.
The President’s Office said that in a situation where uncertainty has increased significantly due to the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas, with international oil prices fluctuating significantly, the biggest issue for people’s livelihood is price stability. During this trip, the President also actively made diplomatic efforts at the normal level to stabilize energy supply and demand and prices. He emphasized.
The President’s Office announced that the government will immediately begin follow-up measures for this trip to the Middle East to ensure that the MOU and consultation results can quickly lead to concrete exports and orders.
He also added that he will continue to put prices, job creation, and people’s livelihood at the center of all his visits and do his best to expand the playing field where our companies and workers can freely engage in activities.
Source: President’s Office, Policy news, link