SM Entertainment chief producer Lee Soo-man and Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Tourism Minister Princess Haifa bint Muhammad Al Saud signed a business agreement to strengthen their cultural partnership.
According to SM Entertainment on Monday, Lee and Princess Haifa met at the King Abdulaziz Conference Centre in Riyadh, the Saudi Arabian capital, on Nov. 29. The two discussed the sustainable development of both countries’ culture industries and how to graft SM Entertainment’s intellectual property with Saudi Arabia’s cultural heritage.
The signing ceremony was also attended by SM Entertainment’s CEO Lee Sung-su and SEA & MENA branch manager Han Kyung-jin, as well as the Chief Executive Officer of the Board of the Saudi Tourism Authority Fahd Hamidaddin.
The business agreement will allow SM Entertainment and the Saudi tourism ministry to appoint the agency’s artists as honorary tourism ambassadors of Saudi Arabia and feature Saudi Arabian attractions as backdrops in music videos.
During the event, chief producer Lee told Princess Haifa that “for the sustainability of planet earth, a specific road map for zero carbon emissions should be executed.” He also suggested that the two parties “host a music festival and campaign in 2023 in the Middle East and Mongolia, themed on planting trees and saving the earth.”
Princess Haifa replied, “When tourists from all around the world visit Saudi Arabia to see a K-pop concert and reserve accommodations, and a tree gets planted in each reservation’s name, it will effectively boost participation.”
This was the third meeting between the chief producer and Princess Haifa, who have been in talks to mutually develop K-pop and Saudi’s culture industry.
BY HALEY YANG [[email protected]]