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Thu 4 Apr 2019 02:09 PM

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Saudi Arabia said to hold Hyundai talks amid car manufacturing push

Saudi minister quoted as saying in advanced talks with South Korean auto makers

Saudi Arabia said to hold Hyundai talks amid car manufacturing push
Saudi Arabia aims to bolster ties with Asia`s fourth largest economy to expand areas of industrial cooperation.

Saudi Arabia is reportedly in talks to try to attract South Korean car giant Hyundai to build a car manufacturing plant in the Gulf kingdom.

Mohammad Al-Tuwaijri, the Saudi minister of economy and planning, was quoted as saying in an interview with Yonhap News Agency that there were "very advanced" talks with South Korean car makers, including Hyundai.

He said the Saudi government aims to make sure it provides the right ecosystem, infrastructure, energy, land and support to encourage Korean companies to commit.

Saudi Arabia wishes to bolster ties with Asia`s fourth largest economy to expand areas of industrial cooperation, he added.

"Talks with Korean companies are focused on demand for passenger cars in the Middle East,” he was quoted as say, adding that “such demand in Saudi Arabia stands at about 300,000 units a year".

Saudi Arabia is implementing its Vision 2030 which aims to reduce the kingdom`s dependence on oil and foster industrial sectors for long term growth.

In 2017, Japanese car major Toyota signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Industrial Clusters Development Program to conduct a feasibility study into producing vehicles and parts in Saudi Arabia.

So far, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf oil exporters have failed to significantly develop industries such as automaking because they lack broad industrial bases and a skilled local workforce.

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