Saudi Arabia's Minister of Economy and Planning Dr. Mohammed bin Suleiman Al-Jasser said the Kingdom wants to change the direction of economic ties with South Korea from reliance on trade to trade plus investment.
He explained in an interview with the South Korean news agency 'Yonhap' and the international radio 'KBS' last night that his current visit to South Korea at the head of the Kingdom's delegation that also includes Governor of Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority Abdul-Latif Al-Othman aims at strengthening the relationship between the two countries and opening the horizon for new economic and investment cooperation, noting that the delegation was briefed on many modern industrial zones in South Korea.
Dr. Al-Jasser, who is visiting South Korea as part of a tour that also includes a number of Asian countries, said that oil will remain a major source of income for the Kingdom but there are efforts to diversify the sources of income and provide job opportunities for Saudis, noting that the Kingdom is currently witnessing an increase in the value of non-oil exports that increased to 37% from 26% in the past year.
The Minister of Economy and Planning hailed South Korea's economic performance in terms of economic diversification, and said that South Korea has taken a great step in the area of economic diversification and we are studying their experiences and trying to take advantage of them.
He said that what is important is that some investments be established in the Kingdom through partnership among South Korean investors, adding that he found during his meeting with South Korean officials and businessmen enthusiasm about this approach.
Dr. Al-Jasser added that South Korean companies have been operating in recent years in the construction industry in Saudi Arabia benefiting from the Kingdom's current construction boom.