Modi woos South Korean business honchos

India-Korea Business Summit helps further India’s Look East policy

shishir

Shishir Tripathi | February 27, 2018 | New Delhi


#South Korean business   #Korea   #India   #Narendra Modi   #Look East policy  


 “From princess to poetry and from Buddha to Bollywood; India & Korea have so much in common,” prime minister Narendra Modi said while addressing the India-Korea Business Summit in New Delhi on Tuesday.

The summit was the reiteration of the strong bilateral ties between the two countries.
 
Modi added that bilateral trade between India and South Korea in 2017 reached $20 billion, the first time in six years.
 
He applauded South Korea for its “spirit of entrepreneurship” and its success in creating and sustaining their global brands that range from IT and electronics to automobile and steel and stressed on strengthening the bilateral relation between the two countries.
 
‘Korea Plus’ was launched in June, 2016 by the then commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Joo Hyunghwan, the minister of trade, industry and energy, South Korea. It was a special initiative to promote and facilitate Korean investments in India.
 
The mandate of Korea Plus covers the entire investment spectrum, including supporting Korean enterprises entering the Indian market for the first time, looking into issues faced by Korean companies doing business in India and policy advocacy to the Indian government on their behalf.
Relation with South Korea has always been an important part of India’s “Look East” Policy.
 
Walter Andersen of Johns Hopkins University, in a paper titled ‘Korea: An Important Part of India’s Look East Policy’, published in 2008, writes: “India’s more active interest in The Republic of Korea over the past several years is rooted in New Delhi’s larger “Look East” policy adopted in the early 1990s following decades of limited engagement there. Trade and investment ties are by far the most important elements in this “Look East” policy, and this applies particularly to the growing Korean-Indian relationship, and bilateral trade between the two countries has increased significantly, at about 22 percent annually, over the past few years.”
 
The paper goes on to say that “soft diplomacy, drawing on the cultural/religious interaction over the past two thousand years after the introduction of Buddhism from India, could play a more important role in the relationship. Korean Buddhism has maintained continuous contact with the place of its origin that has recently intensified with the growth of religious tourism associated with sites linked to the life of the Buddha in the northern Indian state of Bihar and the nearby terai of Nepal”.
 
In his address, Modi gave importance to these two aspects of the India-Korea relations, to show how the two countries are ‘natural allies’.
The prime minister recounted various efforts taken by his government in strengthening and smoothening the bilateral trade between the two countries. He said that ‘Korea Plus’ shows his government’s commitment in welcoming Korean companies in India and to facilitate and retain Korean investments.
 
To the Korean businessmen, Modi said India is now ready for business and assured to do everything to "promote and protect" their investment.

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