India and South Korea on Wednesday explored new avenues of Korean investment in India’s infrastructure modernisation, and agreed to intensify their efforts to increase bilateral trade to USD 50 billion by 2030. They also shared concerns that terrorism in all its forms is a “global scourge” and resolved to combat it through coordinated regional and global efforts.
After a bilateral meeting with visiting South Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said, “We encouraged Korean companies, known for their technological feats and global outlook, to create newer opportunities by partnering in Government of India’s flagship initiatives such as ‘Make in India’, ‘Skill India’, ‘Digital India’ and ‘Smart City’… We also shared the view that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations is a global scourge and resolved to combat it through coordinated regional and global efforts,” she said.
“We shared the view that early conclusion of ongoing negotiations to upgrade our bilateral Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and implementation of trade facilitation measures already agreed upon will help us move towards this target,” Swaraj said.
Bilateral trade, which had crossed USD 20.5 billion, declined between 2014 and 2017. “We expressed satisfaction over the growth in bilateral trade and investment over the past two years,” Swaraj said after the ninth India-Korea Joint Commission Meeting.
“During Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Republic of Korea in 2015, we had upgraded India-Korea relations to the level of Special Strategic Partnership. When President Moon Jae-in visited India in July this year, the two leaders unveiled their shared vision for our future partnership by emphasising the three Ps: people, peace and prosperity. These three Ps remained at the centre of my discussions today with Foreign Minister Kang,” she said.
The two ministers also discussed possibilities for joint commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi next year.