South Korea looking to correct trade imbalance with India: Envoy
With an ever increasing trade, investments and people-to-people contact between them, India and South Korea, the two Asian economic power houses, look forward to correct their trade imbalance, says Seoul's ambassador Joongyu Lee.
"We are looking at the trade imbalance and a committee is going to meet soon to discuss the issue. There is a need to identify products and services from India that can be imported," Lee told IANS.
The ambassador described the strong economic relations between the two countries as "Korea kahani ghar ghar ki (Korean products can be found in every Indian household)".
In the recent times, India has asked South Korea for greater market access for its products for correcting the trade imbalance, especially in information technology (IT), generic medicine and textiles.
According to official data, the trade and economic relations between India and Korea have gathered momentum in recent years with bilateral trade reaching a substantial figure of USD 17.57 billion in 2013.
India's bilateral trade deficit with South Korea was about USD 4.57 billion during January-June 2013. During the period, India imported USD 6.34 billion and exported only USD 1.77 billion worth of goods.
India is the 15th largest trade partner of Korea. Investments both ways are on the upswing.
Korean majors such as Hyundai Motors, Samsung Electronics, LG have invested around USD 3.25 billion till December 2013 in India.
Indian FDI is by Mahindra and Mahindra (Ssangyong Motors), Aditya Birla Group (Novelis Ltd.) and TATA (Tata Daewoo commercial vehicles), close to USD 3 billion.
The Korean envoy said that his country has great expectations from the new Indian government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in reinventing ties.
"We have great expectations from the Modi governmnet to reinvet the India-Korea trade and cooperation ties. The potential of the cooperation between the two sides is endless and the Korean companies exporting from India are trying to help the indian economy grow," Lee said.
For India, South Korea is looked upon as a partner to modernise its infrastructure - from roads to railways.
The Indian government is scouting for more investments For development of infrastructure and industrialisation.
South Korean automobile parts and electronic components manufacturers have shown eagerness to set up their production units in Rajasthan's upcoming special economic zone.
Modi has also frequently mentioned South Korea in his speeches when stressing the importance of infrastructure for economic growth.
Recently, Modi stated that his government will encourage foreign investment in shipbuilding and cited the strides that South Korea has taken in that field.
The South Korea Trade Promotion Agency (Kotra), which is the umbrella agency of the country's ministry of commerce, industry and energy, had earlier entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investment Corporation.
(Rohit Vaid can be contacted at email@example.com)
(Posted on 31-08-2014)