One of the world’s biggest steel manufacturer – Posco- is expected to be the first major South Korean investor in Gujarat. According to the Ambassador of the Republic of South Korea, Joongyu Lee, the company has firmed up plans to invest 20 million USD or (Rs 123 crore) in the state.
“Posco has decided to invest 20 million USD in building a steel coil mill in Gujarat,” said Lee while talking to mediapersons during his visit to the city here on Wednesday. Lee is leading a 60-member delegation from South Korea which includes representatives from the Posco Group.
The South Korean steel giant already holds about 26 percent equity in Posco Poggenamp Electrical Steel Pvt Ltd that has operations in Gujarat.
“South Korean investment in Gujarat is minimal and so we are here to explore opportunities,” said Lee while stating how his country’s presence is limited to a couple of companies in the power sector.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Ambassador met Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel at Gandhinagar. Later, a round-table meeting between Korean corporate executives and state government officials were also held. “The Gujarat government has proposed to build a exclusive zone for Korean companies in Gujarat. However, this is just at an ideation stage,” said Lee while simultaneously stating how South Koreans were concentrating more on the upcoming Korean industrial park at Neemrana in Rajasthan.
“The meeting with Gujarat government officials were more an exchange of ideas. However, companies like Samsung and LG are keen to explore opportunities in the state,” Lee added.
In the evening the South Korean Ambassador addressed the Korea-Gujarat friendship forum held at Ahmedabad where he traced back Korean and Indian bilateral ties to a 2000 year-old-incident where according to Lee an Indian princess from Ayodhya, travelled all the way to Korea and married a Korean King. Lee said that one-fourth of the population of Korea including him, were descendants of this Korean-Indian couple.
Recollecting his meeting with Narendra Modi who was at the helm of affairs in Gujarat last year, Lee said that he was right in choosing a state which has been a proved to be a “nursery” for the political career of Modi who has gone on to become the Prime Minister of the country.
According to him the size of bilateral trade between India and Korea stood at 17 billion USD and more than 450 Korean companies had invested 3.5 billion USD in India.
SEZ of Gujarat and the DMIC corridor in Gujarat presents a lot of potential for future Korean investments in the state, Lee said while addressing businessmen from the state at the forum. This could be in the areas of automobiles, infrastructure, petrochemicals, renewable energy, shipbuilding, textiles and tourism, he added.
B2B networking session hosted by Korea International Trade Association and a meeting of Small and medium companies hosted by Korea Trade-Investment Promotion agency was hosted at two different hotels in the city. Top leaders of the companies like Hyundai Motors, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Posco India, Doosan Power System India, Hyosung, Hyundai Construction, Nuga Medical India, Seela Infra and others were part of the 60-member Korean delegation.
Later in the evening the a “Korea Day” reception was also hosted in of the hotels where Korean traditional dance and music was performed by an elite Gyeonggi Provincial Dance team.