The heads of Samsung, Hyundai Motor, SK and LG Groups met with Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on June 26 and discussed cooperation in various industries such as energy, information and communications technology (ICT) and automobile.
The South Korean companies are planning to work more closely with Saudi Arabia in new industries, such as 5G communications, Internet of Things (IoT) and green car, as the oil-rich Middle East country is shifting the focus of its industrial development from petroleum to high-tech.
Hyosung chairman Cho Hyun-jun, Hyundai Heavy Industries vice president Chung Ki-sun and Lotte World Adventure president and CEO Park Dong-ki also attended the luncheon meeting of South Korean President Moon Jae-in and the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.
During the crown prince’s visit to Seoul, the South Korean and Saudi Arabian governments and enterprises of both countries signed a total of 10 contracts and MOUs, worth US$8.3 billion, in addition to the five trillion won investment contract between Saudi Aramco and S-Oil.
Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong met with the crown prince for Samsung Group’s bigger role in various projects in Saudi Arabia, including the Neom Smart City Project. The total size of the project amounts to US$500 billion and Samsung C&T’s and Samsung Engineering’s engineering, procurement and construction capabilities can be shown off in the project. Samsung Group is looking forward to more partnership in the 5G and memory chip industries, too.
Hyundai Motor Group and Saudi Aramco, in the meantime, concluded an MOU for cooperation in hydrogen energy and carbon fiber material development. According to the MOU, the two sides are going to provide more hydrogen vehicle charging stations and hydrogen electric vehicles in both countries while working on better hydrogen tanks and lighter vehicles. In addition, Saudi Aramco is going to introduce Hyundai’s hydrogen electric vehicles, including buses, for demonstration projects.
The crown prince and SK Group chairman Chey Tae-won discussed further bilateral cooperation after the establishment of SK-SABIC joint venture Nexlene in 2015. Also, they shared their opinions about how Saudi Arabia can work more closely with SK Hynix, SK Telecom and SK Engineering & Construction.
LG Group presented LG U+’s 5G technology in relation to the Neom Project. LG U+ recently signed business agreements with South Korean cities such as Siheung for smart city development based on its drone, CCTV and IoT services. LG U+’s advanced public safety systems utilizing such services are scheduled to be installed in the South Korean cities and can be applied to Saudi Arabia as well. The crown prince is known to be very interested in ICT and LG Electronics is currently running air conditioner manufacturing facilities in Saudi Arabia.