Fifth India-Korea Financial Dialogue

India and Korea talk need of fostering investments amid rising protectionism

On a four day Official visit to Republic of Korea to participate in the Fifth India-Korea Financial Dialogue and the 2nd Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of AIIB, the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs and Defence, Arun Jaitley arrived in Seoul, capital of Republic of Korea on 14 June 2017. After his arrival, the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs and Defence, Arun Jaitley co-chaired the Fifth India-Korea Financial Dialogue with the newly-appointed Deputy Prime Minister and the Finance Minister of the Republic of Korea, Kim Dong-yeon. Noting that the Finance Minister of India, Jaitley is the First Foreign Dignitary to be received in his tenure, the Deputy PM and Finance Minister, Republic of Korea (ROK), Kim emphasised the importance that the new Government of ROK attaches to the development of the special strategic partnership with India.

The two Ministers reviewed the international economic situation, and India-Korea bilateral economic ties in that context. They agreed that in the face of uncertainty and the risk of rising protectionism, there was an urgent need for the two countries to increase efforts to stimulate investment flows, support for infrastructure development, and bilateral trade among others.  As the world’s fastest growing large economy, India offers Korea important opportunities to deploy its capital and technologies in India, and for India, South Korea’s interest in finding new openings to diversify its economic partnerships offers India great opportunities.

Fifth India-Korea Financial Dialogue Later, the two Ministers witnessed the Signing of Agreements to establish US$ 9 billion in concessional credit and US$ 1 bn in ODA funding for infrastructure development projects in India. This implemented a decision taken during the State Visit of Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi to South Korea in May 2015. With this, Republic of Korea became one of the First non-G-7 countries to become an Official Development Assistance (ODA) contributor in India. Both the Ministers also agreed to consider deploying part of this fund towards the Smart City projects in India. They also agreed to establish a mechanism at senior official levels, to identify good infrastructure projects in India, to draw upon these funds.

 Earlier in the day, the Union Minister of Finance, Defence and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley met the Korean Defense Minister, Gen. HAN Min-koo. The two Ministers discussed the rapidly growing bilateral defence partnership. With the earlier signing of an Inter-Governmental Agreement on Strategic Partnership in Defence Production, and the finalisation of a Make-in-India Project to manufacture 155mm Self-Propelled Artillery Guns in India, the two Ministers expressed satisfaction at the rapid growth of ties since the last meeting of Defence Ministers in April 2015. They also welcomed the progress in building ties in Defence Education and looked forward to the expansion of this relationship through Policy Dialogue and through service-to-service ties. The Union Minister of Finance, Defence and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley will call on the President, Republic of Korea, Moon Jae-in on 15th June 2017. He will also meet the leading Korean Financial Manufacturing Companies in several rounds of meetings.

News Update| 20 September 2017:  India-Korea CEPA review in Seoul this week

India’s CEPA with South Korea will be reviewed by the trade ministers of India and Korea in Seoul this week to give a fillip to bilateral trade and investment, said J.K. Dadoo, Additional Secretary & Financial Advisor, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, at ‘India-Korea Economic Cooperation Forum’, organised on 20 September 2017 by FICCI and KOTRA.

Speaking on ‘India’s Potential in the 4th Generation Industrial Revolution Era: Cooperation in Industry – Investment’, Dadoo said that there was a trade deficit against India with Korea enjoying a surplus. This needed to be corrected for a balanced two-way trade. He added that there was immense scope of exploring trade and investment opportunities in new areas for both India and Korea.

Highlighting the various initiatives and programmes undertaken by India and Korea in diverse sectors to strengthen their partnership,Dadoo said that India offers a liberal and transparent policy regime along with a FDI policy, which gives several incentives to investors.

Here, Young Sam Kim, Additional Minister, S. Korea MOTIE, said that in 2016, exports to the India were $ 11.6 billion, up about 50% since the signing of the CEPA in 2010. He added that enhanced cooperation in manufacturing and infrastructure was needed while cooperation in new areas should be explored to further boost bilateral ties.

Building on HaeKwang Lee, Charge d’affaires, Embassy of Republic of Korea, said that there was a need for Korea and India to tap each other’s potential optimally to increase the trade volume. With the Special Strategic Partnership (SSP) in place, the two nations needed to cooperate with a long term vision to have a mutually beneficial partnership.

Further, Sanjaya Baru, Secretary General, FICCI, said that today almost every home in India has a Korean product, be it a car or refrigerator or other electronic appliances. This shows that Korean companies have benefitted from India while Indian consumers have enjoyed the advantage of using good products.

In response, Jaehong Kim, CEO & President, KOTRA, said that Korea with its expertise in electronics and automobiles and India with the edge in software, ICT and R&D could exchange their respective knowledge and capabilities to expand business opportunities and promote economic cooperation.

News Update | Commerce and Industry Minister, Suresh Prabhu to attend 7th ASEM and 3rd CEPA meeting @ Republic of Korea

The Minister for Commerce and Industry, Suresh Prabhu arrived in the Republic of Korea on September 21, to participate in the 7th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Economic Ministers meeting and the 3rd Joint Ministerial Review of the India-Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). This is just the second visit of the Minister after he assumed his current Ministerial charge.

On September 22, at the 7th ASEM meeting, Prabhu reiterated India’s commitment to promoting free and fair world trade, while emphasising the challenges that lay ahead in ensuring free and fair trade as embodied in the WTO. He commended ASEM for addressing global issues of common interest in the spirit of mutual respect and equal partnership. The Minister also underlined the emergence of India as one of the world’s leading investment destination.

On the sidelines of this meeting, the Commerce and Industry Minister had productive meetings with the Minister of State for Economy and Finance of France, Benjamin Griveaux; the State Secretary of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries of Norway, Dilek Ayhan; the State Secretary for Trade, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Susanne Hyldelund, and the DG of the Ministry of Industry & Economy of Spain, Jose Louis Kaiser Moreiras.

Later in the day the Minister met, the Chairman of Korea’s ruling Democratic Party, ChooMi-ae and discussed the rapid progress in bilateral ties since the inauguration of President Moon Jae-in’s administration in May 2017.  Choo highlighted the importance attached by President Moon to the bilateral relationship with India and his commitment to elevate it to the next level. Calling India a shining star in the global economy,Choo noted that the “elephant was out performing the dragon“.


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