Saudi Arabia and South Korea are working to develop a comprehensive strategic cooperation, especially in the field of petrochemicals, energy supply chains, and the exchange of expertise and technological industries, with Seoul expressing interest in more vital partnerships that would also cover biotechnology industries and startups.
Lee Young, South Korean Minister of SMEs and Startups, said that the two countries have started a new era of cooperation in the field of developing SMEs and startups and exchanging expertise.
In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, she noted that while the prosperity of the Middle East in the 1970s focused on construction, petrochemicals and factories, the next boom in the region would be based on new technologies such as Deep Tech.
“In the first half of the year, we will work to promote regulatory projects that depend on the speed of performance and implementation in foreign relations, such as dispatching trade delegations and helping small and medium-sized companies and startups, which are facing problems due to the complex crisis, to open export routes,” Young said.
The South Korean minister revealed that work was underway to transform 20 Korean SMEs operating in 12 countries into global business centers to serve as a major base for expansion abroad.
For his part, Hyunghwan Joo, former South Korean Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, told Asharq Al-Awsat that Korean companies were looking for opportunities for cooperation with Saudi Arabia.
Joo added that Saudi Arabia was able to establish a system based on ecosystem technology, pointing to the importance of the great efforts made by the health authorities in the Kingdom to promote biological, medical and health technology.
He also expressed his country’s interest to push joint cooperation forward in the field of vaccine manufacturing.
The former minister emphasized Saudi Arabia’s interest in health care and its efforts to maximize cooperation for the production of vaccines, as well as partnerships in the field of biological industries, research and related technologies.
He added that the Kingdom, by benefiting from the expertise of Korean companies, was expected to contribute strongly to filling the region’s need for vaccines and biological health-related products in the coming years.”