Pres. Moon and PM Modi Agreed
To Strengthen Military Ties and
Defense Industry Cooperation S. Korea-India Summit in Seoul:
Korean President Moon Jae-in (right) with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed to raise bilateral trade volume to USD 50 billion by 2030, at their summit meeting at Cheong Wa Dae, on Feb. 22, 2019. In a joint news conference after the summit, President Moon said, "Bilateral trade last year reached a record USD 21.5 billion, and both countries will conduct future-oriented cooperation to enrich the lives of the people." Seoul and Delhi also agreed to complete negotiations for upgrading their comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) and reinforce their "special strategic mutual partnership" by improving their trade environments such as import deregulation. Both leaders also pledged to bolster cooperation in defense and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, as well as promote a joint project for a lunar probe.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi agreed to strengthen military ties and defense industry cooperation between the two countries. During their summit on Feb. 22, 2019. in Seoul, the leaders also agreed to complete the negotiations to upgrade their bilateral free trade pact at an early date, according to the Cheong Wa Dae. After the one-to-one meeting and the expanded session involving their aides, the two leaders agreed to bolster bilateral military ties and defense industry cooper-ation and to better cope with the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution. Accordingly, Moon and Modi also agreed to speed up negotiations to enhance the countries' free trade agree-ment, known as the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which took effect in January 2010. Seven rounds of talks have been held to push for further market liberaliz-ation. The leaders vowed efforts to closely cooperate to achieve their shared goal of raising the two-way trade volume to US$50 billion by 2030. To this end, the two leaders agreed to complete the CEPA-related negotiations at an early date and are seeking to improve trade-related systems for easier market access. The leaders also discussed the North Korea issue ahead of a second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un set for on February 27 and 28 in Vietnam. Modi expressed his support for Moon's efforts to seek the complete denucleari-zation of the Korean Peninsula and establish a permanent peace regime. South Korea and India upgraded their bilateral ties to a special strategic partner-ship during Moon's visit to New Delhi in July 2018. They established diplomatic ties in 1973. India is positioned as a key country in South Korea's New Southern Policy, Moon's diplomatic policy of improving strategic ties with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and India. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to more than double his country's bilateral trade with Korea by 2030 after arriving here for his state visit. With the visit, Modi became the first leader of a foreign country to travel to Korea in 2019 on a state visit. It reciprocated Moon's own state visit to India in July 2018. The last time Modi came to Seoul was in 2015. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India-Korea relations have reached new heights. In the one-to-one-talk with Korean President Moon Jae-in in Seoul, Prime Minister Modi said that the Special Strategic Partnership between both the countries is very significant not only for India but also for the world. Shortly upon his arrival in Seoul, Modi attended a business sympo-sium on February 21 at Lotte Hotel Seoul, central Seoul, in which some 500 participants from both countries discussed industrial cooperation and India's electric vehicles. Attendees included Kong Young-woon, the president of Strategy at Hyundai Motor, who doubles as the chairman of the Korea-India Economic Cooperation Committee; Sung Yun-mo, minister of Trade, Industry and Energy; and India's Ambassador to Seoul, Sripriya Ranganathan. In his keynote speech, Modi stressed bilateral cooperation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. He even took a stab at Korean, reciting an old proverb that goes, "If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." The Indian prime minister continued that it was his goal to establish a joint India-Korea startup center to boost communication and cooperation between the two countries, adding that they could both create synergy if they work within an institutionalized framework. Modi also vowed to increase bilateral trade more than two-fold over the next decade, from US$21.5 billion last year to US$50 billion by 2030. Prime Minister Modi's engagements in Seoul began with the Korea-India Business Symposium. At the symposium, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "India is transitioning from an agri-dominated economy to one lead by manufacturing and services. From an economy that is known for its red tape, India is now known for its red carpet." Calling South Korea a natural partner in India's growth journey, the Prime Minister called for increased collaboration in manufacturing and infrastructure sectors, as well as in achieving the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This was Prime Minister Modi's 3rd interaction with South Korean industrial and business heads in just 12 months and his very first engagement on his second visit to Seoul. The importance given by India to business and trade ties with the Republic of Korea was clearly illustrated. The Prime Minister launched the India-Korea Startup Hub at the Business Symposium. India has introduced the flagship program "Start-up India" with 1.4 billion dollars in funding for four years. Prime Minister Modi said that South Korea too has unveiled a program to spend 9.4 billion dollars by 2020 in a bid to boost startups. The Korea-specific facilitation cell "Korea Plus" under 'Invest India' was launched after Prime Minister Modi's visit to Korea in 2015. Today, Hyundai, Samsung and LG electronics have become trustworthy brands in India. Over 600 Korean companies have invested in India. According to Prime Minister Modi, India is among Korea's top 10 trading partners and India is the 6th largest export destination for Korean goods. India is set to become a 5 trillion dollar economy in the near future. Hard policy decisions such as the goods and services tax have been taken. India has received FDI worth over 250 billion dollars over the past four years. Strong initiatives like the JAM trinity for financial inclusion have been taken. India is the sixth largest producer of renewable energy in the world and is spearheading the International Solar Alliance. An estimate pegs India's investment requirements in infrastructure at over 700 billion dollars by 2022. More than 500 million Indians will live in urban areas by 2025. Modi's first appointment with Moon came later that day when they met at Yonsei University in western Seoul, to attend the rive in unveiling of a bust sculpture of Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian activist who led the country's independence movement against British rule in the early 20th century. The sculpture was donated by the Indian government, which has been commemorating the 150th anniversary of Gandhi's birth this year by erecting Gandhi statues overseas. President Moon welcomed Prime Minister Modi on Feb. 21, 2019, with a ceremony to unveil a bust of late Indian leader and activist Mahatma Gandhi that will be put on permanent display in South Korea. In his congratulatory speech, Moon said that "big progress" was being made in peace on the Korean Peninsula, and said he hoped Gandhi's spirit lives within the hearts of Koreans forever. Moon cited quotes from Gandhi, saying "Be the change you wish to be" and "There is no path to peace. Peace is the path." In the unveiling ceremony at Seoul's Yonsei University, President Moon praised the late Indian leader, saying the greatness of Gandhi lies in the fact that he walked the path of peace despite the violence and threats against him and his people. Noting that his country has also experienced colonial rule, the South Korean President insisted that Korea must work together to help establish peace and ensure joint prosperity in the region. "This year is also a meaningful year to South Korea," said Moon. He noted the year marks the 100th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Provisional Government under Japan's colonial rule from 1910-45. "Gandhi's teachings, 'Be the change you wish to see,' and 'There is no way to peace, there is only peace,' especially touch my heart. With the unveiling of his statue today, Gandhi's spirit will forever be in the heart of South Koreans," he added. The statue of Gandhi, donated by India, will be put on permanent display at Yonsei University's Songdo Interna-tional Campus in Songdo, near Incheon International Airport, according to Cheong Wa Dae. The unveiling ceremony was followed by a joint visit by Moon and Modi to Seoul's new highest skyscraper, Lotte World Tower, where Moon hosted a friendship dinner for the visiting Indian leader. At the dinner also attended by his wife, the President said that his country and its people appreciated the friendship and support of India, which sent a medical unit to help during the 1950-53 Korean War. He also expressed his gratitude to Modi for his continued support for South Korea's efforts to establish peace on the Korean Peninsula, according to a press release by Cheong Wa Dae. Moon and Korean First Lady Kim Jung-sook had dinner with Modi on the February 21 evening at a traditional Korean restaurant on the 81st floor of Lotte World Tower in Jamsil, southern Seoul. Prime Minister Modi expressed hope the countries would assist each other's development by sharing their experiences of economic development and democratization, it added. Prime Minister Modi visited South Korea from February 21 to 22 to meet President Moon Jae-in to strengthen relations between the two countries. The Indian Prime Minister arrived at a military air base in Seongnam, outside of Seoul. The visit is aimed at strengthening the special strategic partnership with the South and boosting bilateral trade and cultural ties. Modi's state visit takes place less than a year after President Moon Jae-in held a bilateral summit with the Prime Minister in India in July last year. Korean First Lady Kim Jung-sook participated in the Deepotsav event in India's city of Ayodhya in November last year. "The visit is part of the new momentum in high-level exchanges between India and South Korea. It will demonstrate that India's New East Policy is focusing on expanding relations with South Korea in a multi-dimensional way," the Embassy of India said in a statement. "South Korea and India will seek to enhance cooperation in diverse areas including trade and investment. The level of the bilateral partnership will be expanded into the defense, science and technology and infrastructure areas," said the Cheong Wa Dae Spokesman. He added that the leaders will also explore ways to add more dynamism to South Korea's New Southern Policy and India's Look East Policy. Prime Minister Modi said, "Thoughts and ideals of Bapu have the power to help us overcome the menace of terror-ism and climate change, two challenges humanity faces in these times." President Moon too said that Mahatma Gandhi's message of peace and non violence holds great resonance today. Former U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also spoke of the seven sins as spelt out by Mahatma Gandhi that continue to inspire all. Ban recalled his connection with India that goes back to 1977 when he began his diplomatic career. He hailed Prime Minister Modi as a statesman who stood by the United Nations on several fronts. The Seoul Peace Prize Cultural Foundation announced the decision to award Prime Minister Modi with this prestigious Prize in October last year. The award recognizes Prime Minister Modi's dedication to international cooperation, global growth and human development. The following are excerpts from a statement addressed by Prime Minister Modi to the Indian community in Korea, issued on February 21. On February 21, Prime Minister Modi addressed the Indian community in Korea. He thanked the Indian community in Seoul for the warm welcome they had accorded him at the address. He also said that the ties between India and Korea are not just on the basis of business contact. He said the main basis of the relationship between both countries is the "People To People Contact." The Prime Minister referred to the age-old links between India and Korea, and recalled Queen Suryaratna who traveled thousands of kilometers from Ayodhya, and married a Korean King. He also recalled that recently on Diwali, the First Lady of Korea, Kim Jung-sook, visited Ayodhya. The Prime Minister said that Buddhism further strengthened these bonds of friendship between the two countries. The Prime Minister said that he is happy to note that the Indian community is contributing to development, research and innovation in Korea. He mentioned the popularity of yoga and Indian festivals in Korea. He said Indian cuisine is also fast gaining popularity in Korea. He also spoke of the splendid perfor-mance of Korea in the Indian sport - Kabaddi - at the Asian Games. The Prime Minister described the Indian community all over the world as ambassadors of India whose hard work and discipline has raised India's stature worldwide. He said, "India is celebrating the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi this year. The world must know more about Bapu, and it is our responsi-bility to pursue this objective." The Prime Minister said, "India's ties with Korea are strengthening, and both countries are working together for peace, stability and prosperity in the region." He noted, "Indian brands are now present in Korea, and Korean brands are household names in India." The Prime Minister spoke at length of the economic development that has taken place in India recently. He said, “India will soon become a US$5 trillion economy." He spoke of the phenomenal progress made in "Ease of Doing Business" and "Ease of Living." He also mentioned reforms such as GST and a cashless economy. Prime Minister Modi mentioned that the world is witnessing a financial inclusion revolution in India. In this context he spoke of bank accounts, insurance and Mudra loans. He said that India's prestige is rising because of several achievements. He mentioned free treatment for the poor, the tallest statue in the world - the Statue of Unity - and Digital India. The Prime Minister also spoke of India's developments in the field of clean energy, and the formation of the International Solar Alliance. "There is a new energy in India today," said Modi.★