Prez Moon Jae-In’s leads to new India, Korea partnerships

Besides offering support to South Korea’s mediation efforts for a stable and peaceful Korean Peninsula, India and South Korea signed a host of deals ranging from cultural exchange to railway infrastructure

July 11, 2018

President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, received Moon Jae-in, the President of South Korea, at Rashtrapati Bhavan on July 10th

Improving ties have helped bilateral trade to rise by 24 per cent year-on-year to US$20.8 billion during financial year 2017-18

India’s economic growth of around 7 per cent offers opportunities for many South Korea firms in areas of electronics to automotive

Owing to growing partnerships in manufacturing and innovation, bilateral trade is expected to cross US$50 billion by 2030

India and South Korea signed several new bilateral agreements during President Moon Jae-in’s maiden state visit starting July 9th. The agreements, covering wide-ranging areas of cultural exchange to technology to railway infrastructure, have been facilitated by improving diplomatic relations. The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, received Moon Jae-in, the President of South Korea, at Rashtrapati Bhavan on July 10th. President Kovind congratulated the South Korean President for his efforts and determination in turning the security situation prevailing in the Korean Peninsula into a stable and peaceful one. Improving relations have helped bilateral trade to rise by 24 per cent year-on-year to US$20.8 billion during financial year 2017-18. India’s annual economic growth of around 7 per cent has offered lucrative opportunities for many South Korea firms across the areas of electronics to automotive.

The latest agreements signed between India and South Korea include:

  1. Joint Statement on Early Harvest Package of the Upgraded Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA): To facilitate ongoing negotiations on upgrading the India-RoK CEPA by identifying key areas for trade liberalization (including Shrimp, Molluscs and Processed Fish).
  2. Agreement on Trade Remedies: For cooperation in the area of trade remedies viz. anti-dumping, subsidy, countervailing and safeguard measures through consultations through establishment of a Cooperation Committee of government officials and domain experts.
  3. Agreement on Future Strategy Group: For ties in development of cutting edge technologies for commercialization. Focus on Internet of Things (IOT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, Smart Factory, 3D Printing, Electric Vehicle, Advance Materials and affordable healthcare.
  4. Cultural Exchange Programme for the period 2018 – 2022: To deepen cultural and people-to-people relations through institutionalized cooperation in Music and Dance, Theatre, Art Exhibitions, Archives, Anthropology, Mass Media Programmes and Museum Exhibits.
  5. Tie-up between Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and National Research Council of Science and Technology (NST): For cooperation in research, including in areas of affordable water purification technologies, intelligent transport systems, new/ alternative materials, traditional and oriental medicines and technology packaging and commercialization.
  6. Agreement between Research Design and Standards Organization (RDSO) and Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI): Cooperation in railway research, exchange of railway experience and development of railway industries including an advanced Railways R&D facility in India.
  7. Agreement on cooperation in the field of biotechnology and bio-economics: For cooperation in adoption of biotechnology and Bio Big-Data in health, medicine, Agro fishery products, digital healthcare, precision medicine, brain research, and next generation-medical equipment.
  8. Agreement in ICT and Telecommunications: For cooperation in development, modernization and expansion of state-of-the-art Telecommunication/ICT services and next generation Wireless Communication Networks such as 5G, Cloud Computing, Big Data, IOT, AI and their applications in services, disaster management, emergency response, and cyber security.
  9. Agreement in MSME sector between National Small Industries Corp of India and Small and Medium Business Corporation of Korea: For cooperation in the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in both countries and in improving their competitiveness in global markets.
  10. Agreement between Government of Gujarat and Korea Trade Promotion Agency (KOTRA): To enhance industrial and investment relations between South Korean companies and the State of Gujarat in areas of urban infrastructure, food processing, agriculture related industries, startup ecosystem, skill training and development and new & renewable energy.

As Korean investors look to diversify investments, India is poised to provide both a business-friendly environment as well as good returns. This is a win-win situation as India is going to benefit from South Korea’s investments and technology, whereas South Korea will benefit from our skilled and cost-effective manpower and huge market. The countries are aiming to increase bilateral trade to US$50 billion by 2030.  During his stay, President Moon Jae-in and Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturing plant at Noida, near Delhi. Samsung Electronics is expanding capacity at the plant, set up in 1995, with an investment of more than US$710 million. The new plant will serve the dual purpose of ‘Make in India’ as well as ‘Make for the World’, thus contributing to the Indian Government’s aim to set up a world-class manufacturing base for local market as well as export.