Following Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's visit to South Korea this week, major deals (worth billions of dollars) were signed between the two countries.
MBS pledged business deals worth $8.3 billion to South Korea on Wednesday, including many memorandums of understanding (MoU) concerning hydrogen fuel-cell technology development, the building of refinery and downstream facilities, and the building of propylene and polypropylene plants in Saudi Arabia.
The latter, with a $1.8 billion tag, promises an expansion in the homegrown car industry in the kingdom - which already leads the region with an estimated 40 percent sale of all vehicles in the Middle East.
"The addition of potentially as many as 3 million women drivers to the roads is expected to further spur domestic demand," Arab News pointed out.
Advanced Petrochemical, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia's Advanced Petrochemical Company, and South Korean SK Gas, a liquefied petroleum gas distributor under Korea's major conglomerate SK Group, signed the MoU on Wednesday.
The propane dehydrogenation and polypropylene complex will be built in the East Province city of Jubail - "the world's largest single industrial development project" and "hosts the fourth largest petrochemical company in the world and the largest in the Middle East."
According to Arab News, Advanced Petrochemical said "the project is expected to produce 'high value plastics grades for the automotive industry' as well as other specialized grades that are currently being imported into Saudi Arabia."
The company also announced it has received propane feedstock allocation from Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources for the project - expected to start in the second half of 2024.
The project also includes the proposal to set up a 100,000 ton per year polypropylene (PP) compounding unit "to cater for the requirements of the potential automotive industry" in Saudi Arabia, Advanced Petrochemical said, according to ICIS.
In addition to the aforementioned agreements, Saudi Arabia and South Korea will cooperate on the automotive and robotics sectors.
"Saudi Aramco and Hyundai Motor will partner to develop future mobility technologies, in particular hydrogen car technology. Saudi's state institute King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology and Korea Institute for Robot Industry Advancement will cooperate on advancing robot technology," Pulse News reported.
"Under the economic pact, the two countries will work together on expanding hydrogen economy at all level, from developing hydrogen from crude oil to storing and transporting hydrogen fuel." It is worth mentioning that the kingdom is Korea's eighth largest trade partner.