New Delhi, April 7
South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin on Friday said the country would like to upgrade its existing successful partnership with India and focus on trade, investment and supply chain stabilisation in the manufacturing sector and also critical minerals.
“Our discussions today will take forward our Special Strategic Partnership,” said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar while welcoming Jin for their first bilateral meeting in India after the Korean Foreign Minister did not come for the G20 Foreign Ministers’ meeting held last month.
India is also an important country in South Korea’s Indo-Pacific strategy as is Seoul in New Delhi’s Indo-Pacific strategy. South Korea has been engaging heavily with Japan and the US, two Quad partners, and its President is scheduled to visit Washington soon.
“Commemorating half a century of our diplomatic relationship, we would like to upgrade our existing successful partnership with India. So, I’m going to meet my counterpart S Jaishankar to discuss our joint efforts to promote our partnership and explore possibilities in deepening and widening our cooperation,” said the South Korean minister.
He said important areas that required special attention were trade, investment and supply chain stabilisation in the areas of manufacturing sector and also critical minerals. In the area of science and technology, he said both nations could cooperate in artificial intelligence, big data, biotechnology and space exploration.
Jin is on a two-day official visit to India. He will visit Hyundai’s Chennai plant on Saturday, which Jaishankar, in his opening remarks, described as “symbol of our relationship”. The company was also in the centre of a controversy a couple of years ago when its Pakistan dealership commented on the Kashmir issue.
While Seoul wants to hold a 2+2 meeting of the Defence and Foreign Ministers in order to push weapon exports to India, New Delhi wants a revision in the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, which New Delhi maintains has failed to promote Indian exports and in fact, has further widened the trade gap with India.
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