President Park Geun-hye held a bilateral summit with Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the king of Saudi Arabia, on Mar. 3.
The two heads appreciated the necessity to strengthen their bilateral partnership to progress into broader fields of mutual prosperity.
During the meeting with Saudi business leaders, President Park emphasized the importance of nuclear and renewable energy. She urged both sides to initiate joint ventures to develop different types of new energy for future energy supplies.
The two countries agreed to sign two MOUs, one for cooperation on SMART, Korea's nuclear power reactor design, and another on training the workforce. SMART is a small-sized nuclear power reactor which can produce enough power to desalinate 40 thousand tons of fresh water a day.
Korea's SMART nuclear reactor appealed to the Saudi government whose major concern is always about water supplies. With the ability to mininize costs and maximize efficiency, it is probable that south Korean companies will win a US$2 billion project to build two mid-sized commercial nuclear reactors in Saudi Arabia. It will be the first time for both countries to commercialize a SMART reactor in the Middle East.
During the summit, President Park mentioned that the Korean government's "Three Year Plan for Economic Innovation" is in line with Saudi Arabia's long-term strategy. And she added her hope to expand and diversify bilateral cooperation into other areas, like information technology, renewable energy, public health and medicine, investment, and security.
Agreeing with her remarks, King Salman responded that he expected more memoranda of understanding to maximize the mutual benefits, especially in broadcasting and communications technology where the Saudi people’s major interests meet.