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  • Ahmed Saleh

President Yoon Suk Yeol of South Korea visits Saudi digital exhibition

Riyadh, October 23, 2023, The President of the Republic of Korea, Yoon Suk Yeol, embarked on a visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where he toured an exhibition dedicated to the digital economy, innovation, and the space ecosystem. The exhibition was a part of his official visit.

Upon his arrival at the innovation hub, known as "The Garage" and located in King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), President Yoon was received by Abdullah Al-Swaha, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology.

During his visit, President Yoon received insights into various digital ecosystem projects and initiatives aimed at addressing global challenges and aligning with Saudi Arabia's national aspirations and priorities in research, development, and innovation. These endeavors are integral to enhancing the Kingdom's competitiveness and its global leadership role in line with Vision 2030.

President Yoon expressed his admiration for the Kingdom's significant progress in research, development, and innovation, particularly the projects conducted in advanced national laboratories and research centers. He indicated Korea's interest in strengthening scientific and technical collaboration with Saudi Arabia, emphasizing the Saudi Arabia-Korea Partnership Forum on Key Technologies of the Future. The focus of this collaboration encompasses digitization, clean energy, and space – all of which significantly influence other industries and drive future growth.

Additionally, President Yoon noted the Kingdom's strides in transitioning to smart cities, governments, and companies through the adoption of technologies like 5G, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and other advanced digital solutions. He saw this as an opportunity for private sector entities in both countries to establish collaborations and partnerships.

The President of Korea highlighted the potential for cooperation in clean and renewable energy to advance both countries' climate goals and contribute to global sustainable development. He particularly lauded the virtual hospital project in the Kingdom and its potential to reduce medical costs and improve healthcare, positioning both countries as leaders in the global healthcare market.

Moreover, President Yoon expressed his eagerness to expand cooperation with Saudi Arabia in the realm of space technology. This collaboration could extend to lunar exploration, satellite development, and other cutting-edge technologies, with an emphasis on the exchange of ideas and discussions between scientists from both countries as the foundation for a strong partnership.

Eng. Abdullah bin Amer Al-Swaha, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, emphasized that the strategic partnership between the two nations transcends trade and energy, encompassing technology, innovation, and space. Their joint goal is to achieve global leadership in energy technologies and digital innovation, with this visit serving as a testament to the enduring bond developed over more than six decades.

Al-Swaha also identified areas of potential collaboration, which include fifth and sixth-generation technologies, open radio network technologies, advanced industries, deep technologies, generative artificial intelligence, and new space technologies. These technologies encompass surveillance and communication systems aimed at connecting the offline world and navigation.

As part of the visit, President Yoon took part in a presentation highlighting the outcomes of four workshops jointly conducted by Saudi and Korean scientists. These workshops were centered around digital technologies, innovation, clean energy, advanced biotechnologies, and space, all in alignment with the Saudi-Korean Future Technology Partnership Forum.

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