South Korea and Saudi Arabia have agreed to expand the horizon of their cooperation to promising areas like the hydrogen economy.
On Tuesday, President Moon Jae-in met with Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, in Riyadh.
"President Moon said the two countries have been cooperating in five areas energy, smart infrastructure, digitalization, healthcare and SMEs. He expressed hope they can take cooperation in future industries, like hydrogen energy, nuclear and defense, intellectual property and medicine, to the next level."
On the occasion of President Moon's visit the two sides inked four MOUs related to hydrogen cooperation.
One calls for jointly developing green hydrogen, which is produced from renewable energy sources.
Another allows South Korea to secure supplies of hydrogen and ammonia from Saudi Arabia,.. while Seoul helps Riyadh construct hydrogen powered vehicles and fueling stations.
President Moon also expressed hope South Korea which is highly competitive in terms of AI and big data can take part in the construction of Saudi Arabia's mega project, called NEOM smart city.
It's part of Riyadh's "Vision 2030" a framework to reduce the kingdom's dependence on oil, diversify its economy and develop its public sector.
The Blue House said the leaders also discussed nuclear energy and weapons exports with Prince Mohammed saying South Korea is a "good partner."
Later in the day, President Moon attended a business forum where he said clean energy, future city construction and healthcare are three key areas in which the two sides can work together.
He stressed that cooperation in the hydrogen sector will be key in the carbon-neutral era.
"By combining Saudi Arabia's potential to produce clean hydrogen such as green and blue hydrogen with South Korea's utilization and distribution capacity, the two countries will lead the hydrogen economy."
President Moon arrived in Riyadh Tuesday for a two-day official visit.
He was greeted at the airport by Prince Mohammed himself.
The Blue House quoted the Crown Prince's office as saying it's a special case and reflects the importance of South Korea-Saudi relations.
Before wrapping up his trip on Wednesday, President Moon will meet with the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council to announce the resumption of free trade talks with the six member group.
The council is made up of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain which account for 68 percent of South Korea's crude oil imports.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News. Riyadh.