South Korea will be resuming free trade talks with the Gulf Cooperation Council.
President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday met with Nayef bin Falah Al-Hajraf the Secretary General of the six-member group,… comprised of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar.
These countries account for over 60 percent of South Korea's crude imports.
Cooperation between the GCC and South Korea has expanded to various sectors, like public healthcare, science technology, defense and security, ICT and intellectual property. The dimension of cooperation is changing. We have great potential.
South Korea has been working together with the bloc to foster mutual and reciprocal partnerships with bilateral trade at 46.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2020.
The two sides had agreed to push for a free trade deal in 2007, but related talks were stalled after the council announced a suspension in 2010, not only with South Korea, but also Japan and the European Union.
Moon also visited a construction site of the Riyadh Metro due to open this year.
The subway system has six lines with a combined length of 176 kilometers.
South Korea's Samsung C&T is taking part in the construction.
Moon was briefed on the developments of the project and encouraged the workers there.
On Tuesday, President Moon met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and agreed to expand hydrogen cooperation.
South Korea and Saudi Arabia signed nine related MOUs, including one allowing Seoul to secure supplies of hydrogen and ammonia from Riyadh.
South Korea will also help build hydrogen-related infrastructure in Saudi Arabia.
The leaders also expressed hope for Seoul's active participation in Saudi Arabia's smart city project which is part of Riyadh's "Vision 2030" a framework to reduce the kingdom's dependence on oil and diversify its economy.
Today, I agreed with Prince Mohammed bin Salman to strengthen cooperation in future cities and other industries. The governments of the two countries will spare no support for business cooperation.
"The next stop for President Moon is Egypt the final leg of his week-long tour. He'll be holding a summit with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and attend a business roundtable on green cooperation. Kim Min-ji, Arirang News. Riyadh."