India is likely to see greater investment by Korean companies in the processing of agricultural and marine products.
The move is aimed at adding value to the products which in turn will boost exports from India to East Asian markets.
This follows an agreement between India and Korea at the trade ministers’ level as both the countries reviewed their free trade pact on Saturday. Indian Commerce and Industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Korean Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Joo Hyunghwan also agreed to take steps to increase bilateral trade in services, according to an official statement.
India sought greater market access in Korea for Indian IT and healthcare industry, in addition to agriculture and marine products. Korea has agreed to assess the visa requirements to enable Indian teachers teach in Korea under the English Program in Korea. The ministers agreed that the widening trade deficit was a matter of concern for India and the Korean Minister observed that the economic slowdown was one of the causes of increasing trade deficit.
Joo Hyunghwan assured that the Korean side is open to increasing trade with India and allowing Indian exporters greater market access on a reciprocal basis. He also agreed that Korea could make investments under the ‘Make in India’, Digital India, Skill India, Smart City projects, Power Generation, Smart Grid and Waste Management programmes. In the review of the India-Korea free trade pact, officially known as the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), both the ministers agreed that the utilization rate of the bilateral concessions given under CEPA need to be improved.