Nuke deal spurs quick FDI interest

Nuke deal spurs quick FDI interest

Prez invites Korean firms to develop ports, highways, rlys

improving ties: President Pratibha Patil along with husband Devi Singh Shekhawat visits a showroom of Samsung Electronics in Seoul on Tuesday. Also seen in picture is Samsung president Jong-kyun Shin. PTI

With the Indo-Korea Civil Nuclear Agreement signed, “the Indian civil nuclear energy market is now open for Korean companies providing a new sector for our bilateral economic cooperation,” President Prathiba Patil said inaugurating an Indo-Korean Business Interaction here in which a large business delegation from India participated.

Stating that India required about $1 trillion in the coming years for improving its infrastructure, of which power stations were an important component, Patil said the country looked forward to “greater participation by Korean companies” in expanding India’s highways, airports, sea ports and railways.

Referring to her meeting with the South Korean president on Monday, she said that both discussed the possibility of “upgrading our Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)”. Expert- level discussions in this regard will commence from September 2011, Patil said.

Already, the CEPA, implemented since January 2010 had yielded good results, the President said. India-Korea bilateral trade rose by 40 per cent last year and during the current year it would touch US $ 21 billion, she noted. The target of reaching the level of US $ 30 billion by 2014 was achievable, she added.

Miracle inspires

“To us, in India, the Korean economic miracle is inspiring,” the President told the gathering. Urging greater market access in Korea for IT and IT-enabled services, besides for Indian Pharmaceuticals, President Pratibha Patil said: “Our IT companies are some of the best in the world, and will be able to help Korean businesses in reducing costs and enhancing competitiveness.”

The President was also happy to note that more Indian companies were pitching in with investments in South Korea, with substantial investments made recently by the TATA Group, the Mahindra Group and Hindalco Industries.

Patil, at the State Banquet hosted earlier by South Korean President Lee Myung Bak, also expressed confidence that both the countries could also cooperate in areas like defence and peaceful uses of outer space.

Equally significant was Lee’s remarks in his Banquet speech that the civil-nuclear agreement signed, “will demonstrate that our two countries have now truly become strategic partners.” Another agreement on “Simplifying Visa Procedures” was ready to be signed soon, Lee said, adding, it would greatly contribute to expansion of mutual investments and people-to-people exchanges.

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