India-South Korea: Strategic Partners
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a two visit to South Korea. He will hold a summit meeting with South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in which is the second such meeting between both the leaders. Relations between both nations have made great stride in the recent past and have now become multidimensional owing to mutual good will, high level exchanges and convergence of interests. India is among 10 trade partners of South Korea and 6th largest destination for Korean goods. Korean investments in India have reached a cumulative figure of almost 6 billion dollars. While India has Act East Policy, South Korea has its New Southern Policy which focusses on strengthening its economic and strategic relations with Southeast Asia and India.
- Korea has now realised that it can’t limit its foreign policy to its great power relations.
- Indo Korean naval exercise last year in Indian ocean region.
- SAHYOG-HYEOBLYEOG 2018 a defence exercise b/w both countries
- India is now open to buying weapons from South Korea, bringing in strategic component in our relationship
- $ 10 billion infrastructure fund proposed has been for India
- Overseas development agencies of Korea areready to cooperate with India and global south
India runs 3 Indo Pacific strategy concurrently,
- Indo-Japanese cooperation designed to counter China on East China Sea
- Military, Malabar exercise with India, US, JAPAN aims to secure IoR
- QUAD grouping which calls for inclusive, open indo-pacific region
- Very few countries build phones on the scale of Chinese, one of them being South Korea. Korean companies can be used to reduce the reduce the footprint of Chinese companies in this area.
- Samsung electronics factory inaugurated in Noida which will be one of the largest electronic manufacturing plants in the country.
- The inaccessibility to core technology could be complemented by India-South Korean partnership.
- Trade deficit runs in favour of south-korea. Thus,opening up of indian economic sectors might inflate the already existing deficit.
- Korean companies cite problems in doing business despite measures such as special ‘korea plus’ desk.
- Tourism b/w both the countries has always been low.
- There are diverging views wrt Indo-Pacific strategy.
- The FTA with SK couldn’t take off
- Trade deficit is as high as $50 billion
- Countries like Singapore have leveraged liberalized policies of india to build stronger relations, South Korea should follow suit
- India-Korean relationship could replicate the non-commercial aspects of Indo-Japanese relationship.
- Engaging with Middle power like South Korea provides India say in shaping global policies