As life rapidly comes back to normal in India after being hit by a brutal second wave of Covid 19, economic and trade activities between India and South Korea are expected to pick up steam.
Bilateral trade between India and South Korea touched $21.5 billion only in 2018 — crossing the $20 billion mark for the first time despite the trade pact — Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CEPA) that was signed in 2010.
“The target is to touch $50 billion by 2030,” Chang Jae-bok, South Korea’s Ambassador to India told India Narrative. “South Korea and India have a special relation and we will have talks (to figure out) how to boost trade further,” he said, speaking on the sidelines of the 10-day ‘Korea fair in India’.
The two countries are expected to focus on ways that to strengthen political and security co-operation as well.
Change said that several Korean companies are interested in investing in India. “We also need Indian companies to go to Korea and invest there,” he said.
There are about 750 Korean companies operating in India. But the number is significantly lower compared to other Asian countries such as Vietnam, which has about 7000.
South Korean culture, music, food and even language are gaining popularity like never before in India.
“Korean language has been made part of the school curriculum since last year, we hope that more and more schools start teaching Korean,” Change, who assumed charge in July, said.
Just before leaving India, former South Korean ambassador to India Shin Bongkil said that Covid-19 pandemic showcased India as the next investment destination.
However, Shin also said that while many global companies across the world are looking to invest in India, the country must upgrade the essential infrastructures and be better prepared in the future to avoid any disruptions caused by any crisis.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) from South Korea into India up to September 2020 stood at $6.94 billion.
South Korean major Seoul Semiconductor in June announced its keenness to set up a research & development (R&D) facility in Haryana.
The company will expand its existing operations to cater to the needs of the Indian market and customers. Later it is expected to set up a manufacturing unit in the state. South Korean majors including Samsung Electronics, Hyundai, LG Electronics, Doosan Heavy Industries are among those that are already operating in India.