Saudi Arabia and South Korea have discussed cooperation in the fields of entrepreneurship and innovation, with a focus on increasing investment partnerships. Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Investment, Khalid Al-Falih, met with South Korea’s Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and Startups, Lee Young, in Riyadh to review potential opportunities for Korean SMEs in the kingdom. Multiple memorandums of understanding (MoUs) were signed, aimed at providing support to SMEs and enabling entrepreneurs to enter the field with more confidence. The MoUs also aim to attract investments in various fields, including health and agricultural technologies, smart cities, tourism and hospitality industry, digital content, and robotics.
Saudi Arabia is focusing on economic diversification in line with Vision 2030, and the strengthening of trade and economic ties with other countries is a key aspect of the strategy. In March, Al-Falih met with former Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades to discuss joint cooperation in various sectors, and also signed a framework cooperation agreement with Cyprus Finance Minister Makis Keravnos aimed at generating mutual investment opportunities. Saudi Arabia also signed an agreement with Bulgaria in March to establish a “Saudi-Bulgarian Joint Committee” to implement general cooperation in various fields, while a meeting with the former President of Croatia resulted in the formation of a joint Saudi-Croatian business council to explore new areas of economic cooperation.
The meeting between the ministers from Saudi Arabia and South Korea highlights the efforts being made by both countries to strengthen bilateral economic relations, with a particular emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship. For South Korea, increasing ties with Saudi Arabia is an opportunity to encourage more of its businesses to tap into the global market, with the potential for expanding into areas such as smart phones, new energy, and game-like content. As the two countries continue to collaborate and sign agreements, they may find that they are able to achieve more together than they could alone.