India-South Korea economic ties booming: ambassador

November 11th, 2010 - 1:34 pm ICT by IANS  

By Arvind Padmanabhan
Seoul, Nov 11 (IANS) India’s bilateral trade with South Korea is expected to grow 50-55 percent this year and touch $17 billion, even as the comprehensive economic pact is giving renewed thrust to their blossoming ties, Indian Ambassador here Skand R. Tayal said Thursday.

The presence of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak as the chief guest at the Indian Independence Day this year, and the operationalisation of the bilateral Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement have also contributed tremendously, Tayal told reporters.

“Even culturally, the ties are growing stronger. South Korea is celebrating the ‘Year of India’ and India is celebrating ‘Year of South Korea’ next year. A Korea Centre is also coming up in India, just as an Indian Centre is being established here.”

In business, the ambassador said, it was not that only South Korean companies were investing in India. There were some large investments by Indian companies here as well, such as the $100 million takeover of commercial vehicles division of the ailing Daewoo by Tata Motors.

This apart, the Aditya Birla Group has acquired Alcan Taihan Aluminium for $600 million in 2005; and a couple of months ago Mahindra and Mahindra signed a pact to buy stake in Ssangyong Motor Company, South Korea’s smallest automaker, known for its sports utility vehicle.

Large conglomerates such as LG and Samsung have become household names in India and there was active interest in investing in India’s infrastructure space, which New Delhi says has an appetite for $1 trillion worth of investment over the next seven-eight years.

(Arvind Padmanabhan can be reached at arvind.p@ians.in)

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