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India South Korea Relations

India South Korea Relations

Why in News:

South Korean President Moon Jae-in was on a state visit to India where he inaugurated India’s largest mobile manufacturing unit in Noida (Uttar Pradesh). India and South Korea have a strong bilateral economic relations. South Korea is looking to enhance its trade partnership with India given India’s huge consumer market and also troubling trade war scenario. 

Bilateral Relations:

  • Bilateral relations between India and South Korea, officially known as the Republic of Korea, were established in 1962 and upgraded to Ambassador-level in 1973.
  • India’s Look East and Act East policy found a strong resonance with South Korea.
  • During the Korean War (1950- 53), North and South Korea accepted a resolution sponsored by India. A ceasefire was declared on July 27, 1953.
  • A bilateral Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) was signed in 2010.
  • During Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to South Korea in 2015, the bilateral relationship was upgraded to 'special strategic partnership'.

Trade:

  • Bilateral trade between the two countries in 2011 crossed $20.5 billion, registering a 70 percent growth over a two-year period.
  • Indian exports to South Korea stood at $2.91 billion and imports from there stood at $8.71 billion, as at the end of July 2017.
  • Some of the major items that India exports to South Korea are mineral fuels, oil distillates (mainly naphtha), cereals, iron and steel.

Why it’s important?

  • The tensions between the US and China is growing and the world trade looks in disarray. South Korea can be a key partner in foreign direct investment (FDI) and also in providing technological assistance.
  • Indo-Pacific region will be a key area of focus for China and the USA. Thus, India needs to extend the existing Act East policy up to Indo-Pacific.
  • Finally, the two sides also need to focus on expanding bilateral security and defence cooperation and working together with other countries to promote a stable Asian balance of power system.

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