(Eds: Incorporates details from CII event)
Chandigarh, Nov 24 (PTI) South Korea Ambassador Chang Jae-bok on Thursday said that Punjab and Haryana hold enormous potential for strengthening the Korea-India partnership.
He was speaking at the Korea-India Economic Cooperation Forum 2022 at the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Northern Region Headquarters here.
“The States of Punjab, Haryana and UT Chandigarh hold enormous potential for strengthening the Korea-India partnership”, said the Ambassador here.
On the occasion, he said, “I am happy to say that the year 2023 will mark the fiftieth anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and India."
"This region has excellent human resources, capacity of scale and is at the centre of the future of the agriculture and manufacturing pool. With CII's help and the amalgamation of innovation & technology along with top-notch human resources available in this region will create great synergy for the bilateral relationship between the two countries," he said, according to a CII statement.
Sharing the details on the partnership between the two countries, Yonggi Kim, Secretary (Economic), the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, said, “In the last 10 years, the trade volume between the two countries increased by 116 per cent".
He said the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) - is the most desirable and efficient way to enhance trade relations between both countries.
The goal is to reach 50 billion dollars worth of bilateral trade by 2030, he said.
He further shared that the sum total of Korea's foreign direct investment into India from April 2000 to March 2022 is valued at 5.28 billion dollars, making South Korea India's thirteenth largest investor.
Hargunjit Kaur, Secretary – Industries, Chandigarh Administration in her address proposed to the Ambassador to partner on a twin city initiative wherein Chandigarh is actively looking for a sister/twin city in South Korea that has a similar size and topographical features which can allow the UT Administration to learn and collaborate through focused deliberations in trade, tourism and development.
Talking about strengthening ties between Punjab and Korea, Dilip Kumar, Principal Secretary, Investment Promotion and Industries and Commerce, Government of Punjab shared that Punjab exported USD 71.45 million worth of goods to South Korea in Financial Year 21-22 for yarn, fabric, bulk drugs, residue chemical & allied products, rubber products, hand tools, cutting tools, etc.
“A key takeaway from the Korean industry is that brands and universities work as partners for improved industry-academia linkages. If we bring this to Punjab, it will help us enhance trade and cooperation between Punjab and Korea.
"We would be happy to collaborate and set up more Korean manufacturers in the State to further the ties between our two nations," he said.
Rajiv Kaila, Chairman, CII Chandigarh, also spoke on the occasion.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Ambassador called on Punjab Governor here.
During the meeting, Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit advocated need for stronger bonds between South Korea and India, an official statement said.
The Chandigarh Administrator also suggested enhancing people-to-people contact between the two countries through cultural exchange programmes.
The Governor said this when Chang Jae-bok paid a courtesy call here on Wednesday and met him at Punjab Raj Bhawan.
Extending warm welcome to the envoy-led Korean delegation, Purohit apprised the dignitary of the ease of doing business and the one window clearance system for investment in Punjab.
He said that Korean manufacturing industry would find a very suitable environment for setting up their units in the state.
According to the statement, Purohit invited the Korea to be key partner of 'Make in India' initiative by forging business ties and setting up joint ventures in Punjab and Chandigarh.
Ambassador envisioned key interest in promotion of cultural and educational exchange programmes, it said.
The Governor assured as the Chairman of North Zone Cultural Center (NZCC) the facilitation of cultural troupes from the five Northern States of India, the statement said.
The envoy also made a reference to the scholarships being extended to various Indian students studying in Korea, it said.
The Ambassador told the Governor that the Korean Embassy is hosting 'Korea on the Move' in Chandigarh, with an aim to enhance understanding between South Korea and Indian states.
This is an event which will mutually benefit in diverse sectors, including promotion of Korean investment and business in the state and enhancing cultural exchanges, he said.
The Ambassador said that Korean pop songs, drama and movies are gaining ground with Indian audiences indicating immense interest in each other's entertainment industry. PTI SUN VSD RCJ