“I would like to praise the strategic, friendly, cooperative relations between Saudi Arabia and Korea!”
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“I would like to praise the strategic, friendly, cooperative relations between Saudi Arabia and Korea!”
  • By Publisher Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2022.09.27 15:44
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States Ambassador Alsadhan of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

By Publisher Lee Kyung-sik with Vice Chairman Song Na-ra, Editor Kevin Lee, Feature Editors Yeu Min-yul, Kim Ji-young

Ambassador Sami M. Alsadhan of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Seoul said, “Taking this opportunity, I would like to praise the strategic, friendly, and cooperative relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Korea, which marks the 60th anniversary this year since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries in 1962.”

 

President Yoon Suk-yeol (left) and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia
President Yoon Suk-yeol (left) and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia

Ambassador Alsadhan made the remarks at a gala reception he hosted at Hotel Shilla in Seoul on Sept. 23, 2022 in celebration of the 92nd National Day of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well as the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and Saudi Arabia.

The reception was attended by very important guests from the Korean government and various other segments of local society and also from the embassies in Seoul and various international communities in Korea and around the world.
Among them were Minister of Land, Infrastructure & Transport Won Hee-ryong, Representative Director Suk-Ho Kang of Del Monte Fresh Products Korea Ltd., and Vice President Bo-Sun Kim of European Chamber of Commerce in Korea.
On the auspicious day of Saudi Arabia, Ambassador Alsadhan said, “September 23rd of every year brings the memory of a glorious day in our national history where the founding His Majesty King Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud had unified the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
Then he said: “With such precious national occasion every year, the National Day is an important landmark in the history of modern Saudi Arabia. We celebrate and remember with pride, deep appreciation and dignity, the efforts and sacrifices made by our ancestors in building, developing and serving the Kingdom.” 

 

Minister of Land, Infrastructure & Transport Won Hee-ryong and Ambassador Sami M. Alsadhan of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Seoul (second and third from left, front row, respectively) dance with a traditional sword of Saudi Arabia, along with other Saudi Arabia’s dignitaries at a gala reception to celebrate the 92nd National Day of Saudi Arabia at Hotel Shilla in Seoul on Sept. 23, 2022.
Minister of Land, Infrastructure & Transport Won Hee-ryong and Ambassador Sami M. Alsadhan of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Seoul (second and third from left, front row, respectively) dance with a traditional sword of Saudi Arabia, along with other Saudi Arabia’s dignitaries at a gala reception to celebrate the 92nd National Day of Saudi Arabia at Hotel Shilla in Seoul on Sept. 23, 2022.

“This year,” he said, “we celebrate the 92nd Anniversary of the National Day while the Kingdom continues the process of development and growth in all fields under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and the trustworthy Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.” 
Then he emphasized, “The Kingdom is experiencing a qualitative renaissance despite regional and international challenges.” On the bilateral relations between the two countries, Ambassador Alsadhan said, “Through a long history, the two countries have witnessed a qualitative leap and great development in various fields including politics, military, economy, education, culture, intellectual property, information technology and health.” “In fact,” he said, “The bilateral cooperation has been enhanced and extended vastly to improve the relationship between two countries.”

 

Minister of Land, Infrastructure & Transport Won Hee-ryong (left) learns how to use the traditional sword of Saudi Arabia from Ambassador Sami M. Alsadhan of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (center) on the stage at the reception venue at the Shilla Hotel in Seoul.
Minister of Land, Infrastructure & Transport Won Hee-ryong (left) learns how to use the traditional sword of Saudi Arabia from Ambassador Sami M. Alsadhan of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (center) on the stage at the reception venue at the Shilla Hotel in Seoul.

He said, “The Saudi-Korean bilateral relations are a model of relations among nations that they have often shared the same values on different international events, bilateral coordination, mutual understanding and mutual support in international bodies and organizations.”
Then he said, “On this auspicious occasion, I sincerely wish our two countries and the two friendly peoples continued further prosperity, security and stability.” (See full text of the speech of Ambassador)
The welcome speech of Ambassador Alsadhan was followed by a congratulatory speech by Minister of Land, Infrastructure & Transport Won Hee-ryong. Minister Won said in part, “Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1962, Korea and Saudi Arabia have made a remarkable progress in our ties in diverse areas.”
Then he said, “Korean builders, who laid the foundation for the Miracle of the Han River, went to Saudi Arabia in 1973, for Korea’s first project in the Middle East, and since then the first construction work, Saudi Arabia has risen to become Korea’s biggest infrastructure project partner.” 
Minister Won said, “Korea shared its experience, technology and know-how in building industrial base across Saudi Arabia like a thermal power plant in Rabigh and a refinery in Yanbu.” 

 

Ambassador Sami M. Alsadhan of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (right) explains to Minister of Land, Infrastructure & Transport Won Hee-ryong (left) details of the video presentation on Saudi Arabia.
Ambassador Sami M. Alsadhan of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (right) explains to Minister of Land, Infrastructure & Transport Won Hee-ryong (left) details of the video presentation on Saudi Arabia.

Then he said, “Korea exported its metro system to Riyadh to introduce the city’s first mass transit system. Looking back on our cooperation in the field, I feel very proud of our achievements.” (See the text of speech of Minister Won at the end of this report)  
Saudi Arabia is the world's largest oil exporter and the only G20 member of the Middle East.
According to an account of the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the future of Korea-Saudi Arabia relations is very bright. This year, the situation in the Middle East is moving vigorously toward reconciliation.
The Saudi government is actively leading this process. These efforts by the Saudi government are expected to yield great results in external relations.
It will also contribute significantly to accelerating progress in the achievement of the goals of Vision 2030.
Overall, Korea and Saudi Arabia have built up very close relations since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1962.
Saudi Arabia has always been Korea’s main energy supplier. Korea has contributed to Saudi Arabia's infrastructure construction, which in turn helped Korea’s construction industry thrive.

 

Photo shows Minister Won Hee-ryong (right) with Vice Chairman Song Na-ra of The Korea Post at the Saudi Arabia National Day reception at Hotel Shilla.
Photo shows Minister Won Hee-ryong (right) with Vice Chairman Song Na-ra of The Korea Post at the Saudi Arabia National Day reception at Hotel Shilla.

Foreign currency has been of great help to Korea's economic development. The kindness and friendship between the peoples of the two countries formed at that time still serve as a solid foundation for bilateral relations, cooperation and friendship.
Now, cooperation between the two countries is expanding vigorously in all directions. In particular, the visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Korea in June 2019 marked a new milestone for the expansion of bilateral relations.
Now, Korea is one of the eight key partners of the Saudi government's Vision 2030.
The two countries selected five key areas of cooperation (manufacturing, energy, digital, smart infrastructure, capacity building, health and life science, and investment in small and medium industries) and cooperation projects are continuously being explored.

 

Congratulatory flowers from Korean well-wishers on the National Day of Saudi Arabia at the reception venue. They are from SABIC, DL E&C, Daewoo E&C, Korea National Oil Corporation, Korea Overseas Construction Association, Korean National Council of Women, Dankook University, SK Innovation, and Hanhwa Corporation.
Congratulatory flowers from Korean well-wishers on the National Day of Saudi Arabia at the reception venue. They are from SABIC, DL E&C, Daewoo E&C, Korea National Oil Corporation, Korea Overseas Construction Association, Korean National Council of Women, Dankook University, SK Innovation, and Hanhwa Corporation.

The aspect of economic cooperation between Korea and Saudi Arabia today is quite different from that of the 1970s and 1980s.
While Saudi Arabia marvels at Korea's rapid development of high-tech industries and Korea praises Saudi Arabia's great transformation program, the two countries are strengthening a mutually beneficial strategic partnership.
Exchanges and cooperation between the two countries are rapidly expanding not only in the economic field but also in the cultural field. The performances of Super Junior and BTS in Saudi Arabia in 2019 contributed greatly to raising the interest of Saudis not only in Korean pop songs, but also in Korean movies and dramas.
These changes, which are appearing even against the backdrop of the cultural differences between the two countries, indicate that the potential for further expansion of relations between the two countries is very bright.

 

Ambassador Alsadhan of Saudi Arabia (center) poses with Feature Editor Ms. Kim Ji-yong of The Korea Post media (left) and a miliary attache of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia (right).
Ambassador Alsadhan of Saudi Arabia (center) poses with Feature Editor Ms. Kim Ji-yong of The Korea Post media (left) and a miliary attache of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia (right).

Details of speech by Ambassador Alsadhan of Saudia Arabia:
September 23rd of every year brings the memory of a glorious day in our national history where the founding His Majesty King Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud had unified the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. With such precious national occasion every year, the National Day is an important landmark in the history of modern Saudi Arabia. We celebrate and remember with pride, deep appreciation and dignity, the efforts and sacrifices made by our ancestors in building, developing and serving the Kingdom. 
This year we celebrate the 92nd Anniversary of the National Day while the Kingdom continues the process of development and growth in all fields under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and the trustworthy Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. The Kingdom is experiencing a qualitative renaissance despite regional and international challenges. 

 

Children’s violin performance at the Saudi Arabia National Day reception.
Children’s violin performance at the Saudi Arabia National Day reception.

In recognition of the leadership's willingness to invest all national resources to serve the country and its citizens, the Kingdom's "Vision 2030" was announced with its national contents, development and future plans in order to diversify sources of income, increase efficiency of government performance, and to modernize regulations and administrative structure. Marking the beginning of a new phase of development and the hard work for a better future, “Vision 2030” aims to keep cooperating with developed countries, to achieve a comprehensive development, to employ the Kingdom's potentials and its energy by utilizing the Kingdom's strategic location. As a result of this vision, economic and social reforms have been bearing fruits and the Kingdom has been emerging as one of the attractive economic destinations in the world. Our efforts to diversify the economy are also yielding results.
Recently, Travel, Tourism, and Entertainment became a priority sector under Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 economic diversification initiative.

 

A children’s music band presents a performance at the National Day reception of Saudi Arabia at Hotel Shilla in Seoul.
A children’s music band presents a performance at the National Day reception of Saudi Arabia at Hotel Shilla in Seoul.

 The Saudi Arabian government aims to increase domestic household spending related to entertainment and leisure activities, and to transform the country into a major global travel destination. The entertainment sector perhaps more than any other reflects the remarkable transformation of Saudi Arabia during the past five years.  In 2018, the government ended the 30-year ban on cinemas.  By the end of 2021, there were 45 movie theaters in Saudi Arabia that had presented more than 1,000 films, and the inaugural edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival featured 138 films and shorts from 67 countries in 34 languages.  Additionally, there are plans to build a media city in order to create a multiservice media ecosystem to support and enable content and talent creation. 
On the tourism front, Saudi Arabia plans to welcome over 100 million visitors annually by 2030.  To this end, it has implemented numerous initiatives including an e-visa system for citizens of 49 countries, the opening of its UNESCO World Heritage sites, the construction of resorts on its Red Sea coast, and the launch of a cruise line.  In 2020, the Ministry of Tourism announced that it would invest up to $4 billion into bolstering the tourism industry by launching the new Tourism Development Fund.  

 

A large ice sculpture displayed at Hotel Shilla in Seoul on Sept. 23, 2022 in celebration of the 92nd National Day of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well as the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations.
A large ice sculpture displayed at Hotel Shilla in Seoul on Sept. 23, 2022 in celebration of the 92nd National Day of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well as the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

The Ministry also stated that it would actively work with private sector investors to capitalize on new growth opportunities over the coming years as tourism enters a post-COVID pandemic rebound phase.
The Kingdom plays a major role in maintaining security and stability in the region, and it enjoys a regional, Arab, Islamic and international status, while playing an active and influential role in international decision-making, and its continuous pursuit for international peace and security.
Moreover, the Kingdom is one of the largest countries supporting the humanitarian and relief work in the world, aware of the importance of alleviating human suffering and ensuring a decent life for those who are vulnerable and needy. 
As one of the major global oil producers, Saudi Arabia recognizes its share of responsibility in advancing the fight against climate change. Saudi Arabia is already engineering innovative solutions to help combat the climate crisis, and in the dawning era of renewables. SGI will support the Kingdom to become an international leader in sustainability.
Meanwhile, the Middle East Green Initiative is a catalyst for action-driving climate efforts in the region and beyond. The importance of reversing the effects of climate change is tangible across the Middle East and North Africa, where the impact of rising temperatures is already affecting livelihoods and opportunities.

 

Korean drum dance performed at the reception venue of Saudi Arabia.
Korean drum dance performed at the reception venue of Saudi Arabia.

 

By working together, nations can scale up climate commitments and deliver clear targets designed to protect the planet and ensure a positive future for the coming generations. 
Taking this opportunity, I would like to praise the strategic, friendly, and cooperative relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Korea, which marks the 60th Anniversary this year since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1962. Through a long history, two countries have witnessed a qualitative leap and great development in various fields including politics, military, economy, education, culture, intellectual property, information technology and health. In fact, the bilateral cooperation has been enhanced and extended vastly to improve the relationship between two countries.
The Saudi-Korean bilateral relations are a model of relations among nations that they have often shared the same values on different international events, bilateral coordination, mutual understanding and mutual support in international bodies and organizations.
On this auspicious occasion, I sincerely wish our two countries and the two friendly peoples continued further prosperity, security and stability.  

 

A Korean traditional folk troupe presents a drum dance performance at the Shilla Hotel reception venue of Saudi Arabia on Sept. 23, 2022.
A Korean traditional folk troupe presents a drum dance performance at the Shilla Hotel reception venue of Saudi Arabia on Sept. 23, 2022.

Details of the speech of Minister Won of MOLIT:
Your Excellency Ambassador Sami M. Alsadhan of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,
Ambassadors, members of the embassies and missions in the Republic of Korea, and distinguished guests,
As the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of Korea, I deliver my heartfelt congratulations on the 92nd anniversary of the Saudi National Day.
It is my great pleasure and honor to attend and speak at this meaningful occasion as the representative of the Korean government and the Korean people. 
Distinguished guests, 
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1962, Korea and Saudi Arabia have made a remarkable progress in our ties in diverse areas.
Korean builders, who laid the foundation for the Miracle of the Han River, went to Saudi Arabia in 1973, for Korea’s first project in the Middle East.   
Since the first construction work, Saudi Arabia has risen to become Korea’s biggest infrastructure project partner. 

 

Riyadh, Saudi Arba. Like other cities of the country, the new, ultra-modern buildings in the country are a sign of continuing rapid economic growth and development achieved in the country.
Riyadh, Saudi Arba. Like other cities of the country, the new, ultra-modern buildings in the country are a sign of continuing rapid economic growth and development achieved in the country.

Korea shared its experience, technology and know-how in building industrial base across Saudi Arabia like a thermal power plant in Rabigh and a refinery in Yanbu 
Korea exported its metro system to Riyadh to introduce the city’s first mass transit system. Looking back on our cooperation in the field, I feel very proud of our achievements.  
Distinguished guests, 
At this meaningful occasion, I would like to suggest ‘innovation’ and ‘convergence’ as the guiding words for our future cooperation. 
On September 19, the Korean government unveiled the Mobility Innovation Roadmap to outline our plan to innovate mobility in Korea. With introduction of new mobility options (autonomous vehicles, urban air mobility) and digitized logistics services, we will innovate mobility in Korea.   
In Saudi Arabia, the Saudi government is pursuing innovation in mobility, airports, and tourism in line with the 2060 net-zero emission target.
Our future cooperation on new city projects like the NEOM can realize the convergence between Korea’s culture and technology and Saudi’s bold vision and will deliver innovation and new values for future cities.  

 

MDL Beast Festival in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
MDL Beast Festival in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

The Korean government and Korean companies look forward to developing this cooperation with Saudi Arabia for mutual prosperity of our two countries. 
Ambassadors and distinguished guests, 
There is an Arabic saying that goes ‘The best friends are old friends.’ 
There is also the saying of “A friend in need is a friend indeed.”
I believe the long-held trust we have built since the times of Korea’s hardship will give us a solid ground to further develop our cooperation. 
As we do so, Korea looks forward to contributing to implementation of the Saudi Vision 2030.  
Once again, I want to congratulate on the 92nd anniversary of the Saudi National Day. I wish a continued strong friendship between our two countries. Thank you.

 

Riyadh City in Saudi Arabia is a symbol of fast economic growth and development of Saudi Arabia
Riyadh City in Saudi Arabia is a symbol of fast economic growth and development of Saudi Arabia

 


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