New Korean ambassador signals golden age of ties with Saudi Arabia

New Korean ambassador signals golden age of ties with Saudi Arabia
New South Korean Ambassador to Saudi Arabia JO Byung Wook. (AN photo by Yazied Alsamrany)
Updated 16 June 2018

New Korean ambassador signals golden age of ties with Saudi Arabia

New Korean ambassador signals golden age of ties with Saudi Arabia
  • I am confident that we will see even more vibrant people-to-people exchanges in the near future, including at the highest levels: JO Byung Wook

RIYADH: New South Korean Ambassador to Saudi Arabia JO Byung Wook has heralded a new age of “win-win economic cooperation” between the two countries.

He said that he expected to witness a dynamic transformation in the Kingdom under Vision 2030 and hoped to continue the legacy of consolidation of the two countries’ relationship by his predecessors, ushering in a new era of bilateral economic ties.

In an exclusive interview with Arab News, the new ambassador, who was previously deputy chief of mission at the Korean Embassy in the US, said that the relationship was special for Korea and the two sides were working to strengthen the mutually beneficial partnership.

“I am confident that we will see even more vibrant people-to-people exchanges in the near future, including at the highest levels, in particular, visits to Korea by King Salman as well as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Korean President Moon Jae-in’s visit to Riyadh that will help raise our relations to new heights,” the ambassador said.

“The two countries are now embarking on a journey of even closer friendship and cooperation for the next half-century and beyond,” he said.

“By working together and leveraging our respective strengths, I am confident that we will usher in a new golden age of win-win economic cooperation between our two countries,” he said.

He said that the bilateral relationship extended beyond the business realm.

“We are close partners in the UN and other multilateral forums on a diverse range of global issues, and I anticipate even more cultural exchanges between our two peoples in the near future,” he said.

As Vision 2030 spurs exciting economic opportunities in Saudi Arabia, the two countries are expanding cooperation in diverse sectors such as health care, renewable and nuclear energy, smart cities, e-government and SMEs, most of these areas directly relate to the goals of Vision 2030, including the Saudi government’s job-creation efforts, he said.

“We are also working to share expertise in the renewable energy sector, and cooperating in the construction of state-of-the-art smart cities and smart airports, all areas in which Korean firms possess world-class skills,” he said.

Asked about the potential for cooperation in nuclear energy, the envoy said: “We hope to participate in Saudi Arabia’s ambitious National Project for Atomic Energy.”