S Korean envoy meets Punjab Guv, hold potential for strengthening ties

CHANDIGARH: Chang Jae-bok, the ambassador of South Korea to India, said Punjab, Haryana, and Chandigarh have a lot of potential to advance relations between the two countries.

"I am glad to say that the year 2023 will mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and India," he said in a speech at the South Korea-India Economic Cooperation Forum 2022 held at the CII Northern Region Headquarters here. 

Excellent human resources, scaleability, and a key position in the future of manufacturing and agriculture are all present in this region. With CII's assistance, the two countries' bilateral relations will benefit greatly from the combination of innovation, technology, and the best human resources this region has to offer. The liberalisation of several important sectors as a result of recent government measures made it possible for foreign partners to establish joint ventures with Indian parties. As a result, he said, approximately 700 Korean businesses had expanded their interests into India.

Yonggi Kim, Secretary (Economic), South Korean Embassy, provided information on the relationship between the two nations. He stated: "In the last 10 years, the trade volume between the two countries expanded by 116%. The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), an improvement to the countries' bilateral trade agreement, is the most desirable and effective means to improve trade relations between the two nations. By 2030, it is intended to increase bilateral trade to $50 billion. He said that from April 2000 to March 2022, South Korea made a total of $5.28 billion in foreign direct investments into India, ranking as the 13th largest investor in that country.
For the first six months of this year, South Korea has already invested around $137 million.

In her speech, Hargunjit Kaur, Secretary of Industries for the Chandigarh government, suggested working with the ambassador on a twin city initiative. Chandigarh is actively looking for a sister or twin city in South Korea that is comparable to it in terms of size and topography so that the administration can exchange knowledge and coordinate efforts in areas such as trade, tourism, development, and other areas.

Dilip Kumar, Principal Secretary, Investment Promotion and Industries and Commerce, Punjab, said that in FY 21-22, Punjab exported goods worth $71.45 million to South Korea, including yarn, fabric, bulk drugs, residue chemical and allied products, rubber products, hand tools, cutting tools, and other items.

"A crucial lesson from the Korean economy is that brands and universities collaborate for stronger links between the private and public sectors. We can improve commerce and collaboration between Punjab and Korea if we introduce this to Punjab. In order to strengthen the bonds between our two countries, we would be delighted to work together and establish more Korean firms in the region. 

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