Prime Minister Modi’s S. Korea visit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi went for an official two-day visit to South Korea on 17 May 2015. After his meeting with South Korean President Park Geun-hye, both countries agreed to step up defence cooperation while South Korea pledged $10 billion in finance for infrastructure projects.

The two sides signed seven agreements covering avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income, MoU between National Security Councils of the two countries, MoU on shipping and transport.

South Korea’s Ministry of Strategy and Finance and the Export-Import Bank of Korea will create a $1 billion Economic Development Cooperation Fund and provide $9 billion in export credits to India, the two countries said in a statement.

Seven out of 10 points in the joint statement were focused on defence cooperation including exchanges between South Korean and Indian shipyards, and their navies.

Mr Modi said South Korea is the second country (after Japan) with which India will have a diplomatic and security dialogue in 2+2 format, referring to a bilateral dialogue process involving the foreign and defence ministers of the two sides. Stating that the national security councils of the two sides will have regular cooperation, he said the two nations have agreed to expand cooperation between their armed forces.

Bilateral trade is about USD 16 billion and the two sides are keen to see that it goes up substantially. There are 300 Korean companies which have invested about USD 3 billion in India. They employ about 40,000 workers in India.

India’s investment in South Korea is close to USD two billion. Indian companies are looking forward to greater access in Korea to pharmaceutical and IT products.

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