(MENAFN - Arab News) Besides booming economic relations between Saudi Arabia and South Korea, the fields of education and culture have also received considerable attention.
More than 200 Saudi students under King Abdullah Scholarship are studying at various South Korean universities and the number of Saudi students there is increasing, according to South Korean Consul General Yong-gi Shin.
"South Korea is rising as a prospective tourist destination in the Far East for Saudi citizens. In consideration of such developments, Korean Air has decided to resume its direct flight between South Korea and the Kingdom in November this year after a 15-year suspension, since 1997. It will open a new highway for the cooperation of the two friendly countries in the coming era," the envoy said on the occasion of his country's National Foundation Day celebration held in Jeddah on Monday.
To mark the friendly bilateral and cooperative relations, the consulate organized a photo exhibition of great leaders of both countries. Officials, diplomats, businessmen, as well as other invitees attended the event. "I am confident that the partnership between the Kingdom and Korea will develop further and consolidate not only bilaterally, but also globally," he said.
Shin added that the year commenced with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak's visit to the Kingdom as the guest of honor to attend the opening of 2012 Janadriya Festival in February, while the Kingdom was the guest of honor at 2012 Seoul International Book Festival.
"Our celebration this year has a particular value, as this year complements half a century of diplomatic relations between the Kingdom and the Republic of Korea. As a major component of the East Asian civilization, Koreans have developed the national identity of being peace loving, diligent and resilient against the hardships of external invasion. Although we have faced many obstacles and persistent challenges, we have successfully overcome those difficulties with unfaltering courage and wisdom," he said.
"It is extremely encouraging to note the recent return of Korean companies to the Kingdom after almost two decades of absence. There are more than 100 companies engaged in the execution of techno-intensive projects such as power generation, desalination and petrochemical plants. High-quality Korean products such as ICT equipment and automobiles are gaining confidence among Saudi consumers," Shin said.
In 2011, the total trade volume between the two countries reached 43 billion. South Korea imported oil and petrochemical products worth about 37 billion from the Kingdom while it exported industrial and consumable goods worth 6.9 billion.
In a separate event held earlier in the presence of the consul general, Kanoo Travel announced that Korean Air is expanding its network to the Middle East with a direct flight service between Saudi Arabia and South Korea effective Nov. 9. Korean Air will commence the direct service three times a week, flying from Seoul/Incheon first to Riyadh and then onto Jeddah. The Seoul/Incheon-Riyadh-Jeddah flights will operate on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.