A two-day exhibition of catalogs of 70 South Korean companies opened at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday.
JCCI's Vice Chairman Mazen Batterjee, Secretary General Adnan Mandoura, Mohamed Yousuf Naghi, head of Mohamed Yousuf Naghi & Brothers Group, and South Korean General Yong-gi Shin took part in the inauguration.
The consul general described the catalog show as the first of its kind since the reopening of the consulate here in 2008 and said the bilateral relationship between the two friendly countries had witnessed tremendous expansion, particularly in forging economic cooperation.
The total trade volume between the two countries reached $31 billion in 2010, which makes Saudi Arabia the 4th largest trading partner for South Korea.
According to Shin, the Kingdom's need to tackle unemployment and diversify the economy and Korea's indispensable efforts to develop and export new technologies and share knowledge can create room for a constructive cooperation.
"Owing to high oil prices and the economic stimulating program of the Kingdom, the trade volume between the two countries this year is expected to increase by over 50 percent in comparison with the previous year. Many South Korea companies are conducting various projects in power generation, desalination and petrochemicals," he said.
South Korea makes every effort not only to develop new technologies indispensable to sustainable development of its economy but also to share its knowledge and experiences with other friendly countries.
"In this respect, KOVA can be one of the most proper business partners for Saudi businessmen. Seventy South Korean venture companies, with business interest in the Kingdom, exhibiting at the catalog show are also looking for their partners locally," he said.
The consul general said the event could be regarded as a prior program to the celebration of 50th anniversary of official relations between the Kingdom and South Korea, which is a guest country at the Janadriya Festival in February 2012.
Mandoura, who shares Shin's opinion regarding the strong economic ties between Saudi Arabia and South Korea especially in the fields of construction, medium and light industries, petrochemical industry and infrastructure projects, also took the opportunity to invite South Korean companies to capitalize on the potential investment prospects in Saudi Arabia:
"At JCCI, we want to host more exhibitions and delegations in order to be catalysts for more investments, represent a good platform for businessmen to meet and collaborate, and combine Korean experience with Saudi potential," Mandoura added.
Mandoura said a special significance of the strong bilateral relations was the signing of the agreement for reciprocal exemption of taxes and customs duties on air transport in 1990.
The two countries have since made progress in construction, medium and light industries, petrochemicals, infrastructure projects and several other fields.
Beyond product catalogues in the field of electronic and chemical products, machinery, IT, security, health, cosmetic and others, the exhibition displays samples of high technology products from leading Korean companies and members of Korea Venture Business Association (KOVA) such as Samsung, LG, Hankook Tires, Kumho Tires, Hyundai, Kia Motors, KDC and MYN decor&artwork Co.
Representative of KOVA, Ho Kyoung Seo expressed all his pride for being among the organizers of the South Korea Business Show and his desire to continue contributing to strengthen economic ties between the two countries: "The close friendship between Saudi Arabia and South Korea has been enriched by the areas of infrastructure, textiles, electronics, automobiles and recently by many kinds of technology-oriented plant construction such as power and desalination plants. It is a very important time now to put this friendship one step higher, deeper and wider. If there is any role which can be played by us as KOVA, we are fully committed to implement it."
Established in 1995 to promote and support business with high risk and high return and small and medium size companies, KOVA has been one of the strongest driving forces of Korean economy in terms of new technology development and capitalization of new and creative business models.
After a presentation on KOVA's achievements and strategies to ensure economic development by instilling venture spirit in the new generation, Shin expressed his wish to share these experiences with Saudis: "This meeting is just a start. I'm looking forward to more similar exhibitions and inviting a Saudi delegation to visit KOVA in Korea.