India to launch ‘Korea Plus’ tomorrow

New Delhi, June 17 (ANI): The Government of India will launch ‘Korea Plus’ tomorrow, a dedicated mechanism for hand holding Korean investors and facilitating South Korean investment and operations in India, said Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, here today at the ‘Korea-India Infrastructure and Industry & Infra Forum’ organized by FICCI in partnership with Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA). Sitharaman said that the launch of Korea Plus comes at an opportune time as India-Korea bilateral trade volume has increased phenomenally in the past decade with the help of growing investments. Besides, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Korea in 2015 had garnered an increase in interest of mutual cooperation from business enterprises of India and Korea. She added that today’s forum aimed to provide a business platform and build strong partnership between the industry players of both countries to explore collaboration opportunities, and promote trade, investment and technical cooperation.

Sitharaman said that India and Korea shared a special strategic partnership and Korea was an indispensable partner of India. “The partnership between the two nations was built on the aspirations of the people which allowed the industry on both sides to engage productively,” she said. She added that with ‘Make in India’ and other such initiatives, there was an immense scope for exploring new areas of cooperation.

Highlighting infrastructure as one of the most important sectors for cooperation, Sitharaman said with the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor; Bengaluru- Mumbai Economic Corridor; Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor; Visakhapatnam-Chennai Industrial Corridor and Amritsar-Kolkata Industrial Corridor, in the pipeline, Korea could help India to develop these corridors by sharing its high quality technology and expertise in the field.

Hyunghwan Joo, Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy (South Korea), said it was time to enhance the institutional foundations by upgrading the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) which is a free trade agreement between India and South Korea providing better access for the Indian service industry such as information technology in South Korea. He added that MOUs in key sectors have been signed to promote exchange and sharing of high quality technology. Joo said that infrastructure and energy were two areas which presented enormous opportunities of cooperation in sustainable and eco-friendly technology and Korea had the requisite expertise in building world renowned infrastructure. He added that India could assist Korea in key industries such as ship building and automobile. Hyun Cho, Ambassador of Korea to India, said that infrastructure was an important sector for partnership between India and Korea. He added that though the world was witnessing a downward economic trend but India was growing steadily owing to its domestic market.

Korea with its experience and expertise would help India to further explore its domestic market and continue its upward trend. Harshavardhan Neotia, President, FICCI, said the two countries were well placed to explore the vast scope of partnership and going ahead some very potential areas such as infrastructure, smart cities, defence manufacturing, electronics hardware manufacturing, ship building, energy especially renewable energy could provide room for further expansion. He assured FICCI’s full support, through CEOs forum, Joint Business Council and any other institutional mechanism in promoting India Korea relations. India-Korea is truly a special strategic partnership, which has emerged as a natural corollary of our shared values, and commonality of interests, he added. Wonseok Yoon, Executive Vice President, KOTRA, said that the up-gradation of relationship between India and Korea to special strategic partnership has given a boost to government to government (G2G) ties. With a strong leadership and enormous potential India has become one of the fastest growing economies in the world and Korea will partner with India to take forward this growth story.

He added that ‘Korea-India Infrastructure and Industry & Infra Forum’ was a first step towards strengthening, facilitating and promoting bilateral relations between the two countries. Arvind Balaji, President, ACMA, said that continuing with its endeavour to bring new opportunities for the auto component industry in India, ACMA was mounting a CEOs’ delegation to South Korea to explore opportunities for enhancing business linkages with the Korean auto component industry and strategic alliances. He added that the delegation will update the Korean auto industry on the growing opportunities and capabilities of the Indian auto component industry which would allow further deepening of economic relations between India and Korea.

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