Moon-Modi bilateral talks to strengthen Indo- Korean relations

India and South Korea are likely to revise and sign an updated Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) as visiting South Korean President Moon Jae in and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold bilateral talks int the upcoming week.

There are propositions to form an Indo- Korean future Vision strategy group which will identify research projects and exchange programmes on software, biotech, cyber security, healthcare and energy. The Moon-Modi summit was set to follow an official welcome ceremony for the South Korean leader, who arrived here on Sunday for a four-day state visit, according to Moon’s office Cheong Wa Dae.

“India and South Korea are the world’s seventh and 11th largest economies. However, trade between the two countries came to $20 billion last year, which is not small but far short of our expectations,” Moon said in a South Korea-India business forum held in New Delhi on Monday.

The two sides are also expected to sign an early harvest agreement as part of the upgraded Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) to boost bilateral trade way beyond the existing $20 billion by including more items including exports of marine products from India, the officials said. An early harvest scheme is a precursor to a free trade agreement (FTA) between two trading partners.

Although the currency swap agreement, which will help India bridge the $10 billion trade deficit, is work in progress, South Korea, India and Afghanistan will sign a tripartite agreement that allows Indian companies to fullfil Seoul’s development and infrastructure commitments to Kabul. On the other hand, President Moon Jae-in pledged to more than double trade with India from the current $20 billion to $50 billion by 2030.

“India-Korea for the last 45 years developed bilateral relations in various fields and in 2015 on the occasion of Prime Minister Modi’s visit to South Korea escalated them to a special strategic partnership,” President Moon said on Tuesday at a press conference in New Delhi.

“Now three years have passed and Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Act East Policy’ has importance to cooperation with Korea,” Moon said, “and I’m pressing ahead with the ‘New Southern Policy’ that makes India Korea’s key partner for cooperation.”


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