PM Modi, S Korean Prez Moon hold ‘constructive’ talks on trade, defence and security
Seoul, Feb 22 : Primer Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in held “constructive” talks on Friday on enhancing bilateral cooperation in key areas including trade, investment, defence and security.
Modi, who is on a two-day visit to South Korea to strengthen India’s strategic ties with the country, was accorded an official reception at the Blue House, the executive office and official residence of the South Korean President here. He also met First lady Kim Jung-sook.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the two leaders held “constructive talks on enhancing cooperation in trade and investment, defence and security, energy, space, start-ups and people-to-people exchanges.”
Addressing the media after the talks with President Moon, Prime Minister Modi said that South Korea is an important partner in India’s economic transformation.
“I express my gratitude to President Moon for his condolences and support on the last week’s Pulwama attack and support against terror. We are committed towards strengthening our bilateral and multilateral cooperation against terrorism.
“An MoU signed between India’s Home Ministry and South Korea’s National Police Agency today will further take forward our counter-terrorism cooperation,” Modi said.
He said that the time has come when the world, going beyond the talks, should unite and act against terrorism.
“In India’s economic transformation, we consider Korea as a valuable partner. Our trade and investment relations are growing. Today, President Moon and I have repeated our commitment to increasing our bilateral trade to USD 50 billion by 2030.
“In sectors like Infrastructure, port development, marine and food processing, start-ups and small and medium enterprises, we agree to increase our cooperation,” the prime minister said.
Modi said that the defence sector has an important role in the growing strategic partnership.
“An example of this can be seen in the induction of the K-9 ‘Vajra’ artillery gun in the Indian Army,” he said.
To take the remarkable cooperation in in defence production ahead, India and South Korea have also agreed to create a roadmap on defence technology and co-production. Under this, India welcomes the involvement of South Korean companies in the defence industrial corridors being developed in India, the prime minister said.
“In July last year, we had the opportunity to welcome President Moon to India. We also met during the East Asia Summit and G-20 Summit. I have experienced that the coordination of India’s Act East Policy and Korea’s New Southern Policy is giving a strong platform to further deepen and strengthen our Special Strategic Partnership,” Modi said.
India’s vision in relation to the Indo-Pacific region lays special emphasis on inclusion, ASEAN’s centrality and shared prosperity
This is an area in which India and South Korea can work together for the benefit of the whole region and the world, based on shared values and interests, he said.
“I am happy that after the visit of President Moon to India last year, we have made significant progress in our relations in a very short time. This is based on our shared vision of progress and roadmap of our relations in future, people, peace and prosperity,” Modi said.
The prime minister said that the participation of First Lady Kim as the Chief Guest at the ‘Deepotsav’ festival held in Ayodhya in November last year was a matter of pride for us.
“Her visit re-energised our cultural ties of thousands of years, and created an atmosphere of curiosity and awareness in the new generation,” he said.
In order to further strengthen the historic people-to-people relationship between the two countries, India started the facility of visa on arrival for citizens of South Korea from October last year, Modi said, adding that he welcomes South Korea’s decision to simplify group visa for Indians.
“This will enhance our two-way tourism,” he said.
“My visit to Korea is happening at such a crucial time when the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi is being celebrated. And centenary celebrations of democracy movement in Korea. I am grateful for President Moon writing tributes for the collection of our Mahatma Gandhi memorial,” Modi said.
Modi is visiting South Korea on the invitation of President Moon. This is his second visit to the Republic of Korea since 2015 and second summit meeting with the South Korean president.
The prime minister will receive the Seoul Peace Prize announced by the Seoul Peace Prize Foundation in October last year.
Earlier in his departure statement, Modi said his visit was reflective of the importance “we both attach to our relationship”.