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Betting big on trade with Korea

india Updated: Jan 26, 2010 00:41 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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India and South Korea have decided to double the bilateral trade to $30 billion (around Rs 138,000 crore) by 2014 and signed four pacts on Monday to strengthen cooperation between two Asian economies.

AFP reported that South Korea had offered to build nuclear reactors in India.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh set the tone for greater engagement when he told South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, "We are committed to developing a robust and comprehensive framework for strategic engagement with Korea."

"We would like to learn from the Korean experience as we enhance our own efforts to achieve rapid and inclusive growth in India."

There were attempts to allay Korean fears on Posco project -the single largest foreign investment in India - delay. "The two leaders also recognised the need to expedite the implementation of the Posco project in the state of Orissa," a joint statement issued after the meeting said.

The project in Jagatsinghpur district is behind by more than three years, pending mining leases and land acquisition.

The two sides also agreed to greater cooperation in defence, the statement said.

Four pacts were inked during the day - related to cooperation in peaceful use of outer space, IT, science and technology for the year 2010-12 and transfer of sentenced persons.

New Delhi hopes that the economic ties will take forward its objective of an ASEAN+6 (Korea, Japan, China, India Australia and New Zealand) format as against the ASEAN + 3 that the Chinese are known to be in favour of. The Association of Southeast Nations is an economic and geopolitical bloc of 10 countries in Southeast Asia.

AFP said Lee touted what he said was his nation's expertise in building nuclear power stations, as he expressed hope that South Korean companies would help India to construct new atomic power plants.

(With inputs from agencies)