KSA boosts health sector cooperation with S. Korea

Updated 08 February 2016
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KSA boosts health sector cooperation with S. Korea

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and South Korea are set to widen cooperation in the health care sector following a joint road show which underlined potential areas of cooperation and showcased world-class health facilities of that country.

The event, titled “Korea-Saudi Health Care Cooperation Road Show,” also discussed ways and means to broaden the excellent working relationship.
“The road show brought together people from the health care industry of the Kingdom and Korea, providing them with chances of finding collaboration opportunities and partners in the private sector,” said Korean Ambassador Kwon Pyung-oh.
The event was attended by high-ranking Saudi officials, diplomats and health industry leaders. Prominent among them were Dr. Abdulaziz bin Saeed, deputy minister for public health; Dong-Wook Lee, director general of Korea’s Bureau of Health Industry; Do Bong-Kae, deputy chief of Korean mission; Bok-hyun Nam, health attaché; Seung-mo Yoo, president of the Korea Medical Association; and Yong-Joon Cho, chief of the Bongkoo Bio and Pharma Co. Ltd.
Referring to the signing of the executive program by Riyadh and Seoul to boost cooperation in the health sector in 2012, Ambassador Kwon said that “health care is a relatively new area of cooperation between the two countries.” He pointed out that the bilateral cooperation accord includes education and training of health care professionals, transfer of medical know-how as well as research and development in the health care and pharmaceutical fields.
“Following Korean President Park Geun-hye’s visit to Saudi Arabia in March last year, bilateral relations turned to a new era with two leaders agreeing to expand cooperation in new areas like health care, atomic energy, ICT, creative economy and investment,” said the envoy. Furthermore, human exchanges have been increasing including not only policymakers but also business people, economic organizations, youths and students, he said. “Such interactions like the health road show are forces behind bringing our two countries closer economically despite their geographical distances,” said Dong-Wook Lee, while speaking on this occasion. He explained the most successful elements of South Korea’s health care system, saying that one of the greatest advantages of Korea’s health care is its effectiveness — in terms of both costs and outcomes.
Dong said that the Korean people, as well as foreigners who live in Korea, have access to high-quality health care at a low cost. The administrative cost of the health insurance structure is notably low in South Korea. “This is an opportunity for Saudi and Gulf patients, who can travel to Korea and take advantage of the world-class medical facilities at a comparatively lower cost,” he said. The joint meeting of Saudi and Korean officials on the sidelines of the health care road show discussed areas of bilateral cooperation, the Korean pharmaceutical industry, the approval and registration process of Saudi Food and Drug Authority, the excellence of Korean medical devices industry, operation and maintenance of hospitals besides cooperation between health institutions.


Saudi Arabia’s up-and-coming energy park set to transform KSA into a global industrial powerhouse

Situated in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province, between Dammam and Al-Ahsa, the project will be developed in three phases. (Supplied)
Updated 12 December 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s up-and-coming energy park set to transform KSA into a global industrial powerhouse

  • The first phase is scheduled for completion by 2021
  • SPARK will localize more than 300 new industrial services and facilities and will have specialized training centers to cater to the huge influx of manpower

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is fast catching up with the world’s ever-growing energy and technology scene ahead of 2030. In fact, the King Salman Energy Park (SPARK) may soon prove a global destination for energy industry investors.

The new energy city mega-project is being developed by Saudi Aramco, which received authoritization to embark on the initiative in the summer, and is operated, managed and maintained in partnership with the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones (MODON). 

With projections that the megacity will create more than 100,000 jobs, it is considered one of the most up-and-coming energy parks in the world.

SPARK will localize more than 300 new industrial services and facilities and will have specialized training centers to cater to the huge influx of manpower.

Situated in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province, between Dammam and Al-Ahsa, the project will be developed in three phases. 

The first phase is scheduled for completion by 2021, while the final phase of the project is set for completion in 2035. With all this on track, the 50-square-kilometer project is poised to be a magnet for foreign and domestic investment. 

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated the King Salman Energy Park at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) on Monday. (SPA)

What’s more, Aramco’s espousal of SPARK will also help businesses indulge in technological development, manufacturing and exports channels and build a world-class energy supply chain. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated the King Salman Energy Park at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) on Monday.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, Energy Minister and Aramco Chairman Khalid Al-Falih declared SPARK a special economic zone (SEZ) in which businesses can enjoy exclusive benefits. 

“We are looking forward to collaborating with our first anchor partners at SPARK,” said Saudi Aramco President and CEO, Amin Nasser.

SPARK has already attracted investment from foreign and local companies to produce and manufacture goods and services. The first phase of the project is expected to cost about $1.6 billion. 

The park is set to attract industrial investors in the water, power, petrochemical and wastewater sectors, among others. 

Facilities at SPARK will also help investors bridge gaps in local production back home, increasing competition in the long run. 

“This energy city is exciting because it brings together a multitude of businesses,” Mark McCollum, president and CEO of Weatherford Corp, told SPARK.

“We firmly believe that collaboration and cooperation among service companies and individual providers to the energy sector is vital in breaking new ground.”

The King Salman Energy Park is also set to promote small and medium-sized enterprises. With focus on energy production, it also provides opportunities for investment in residential and commercial real estate projects.

Nasser said that the “King Salman Energy Park will spur a new era of growth for one of the Kingdom’s already thriving sectors. What’s more, it will serve as a central gateway to the region’s economies since Aramco is at the heart of the global oil and gas industry.”