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India–Republic of Korea Joint Statement: Towards a Strategic Partnership

January 25, 2010

  • H.E. Mr. Lee Myung-bak, President of the Republic of Korea (ROK), paid a State Visit to India from 24 to 27 January 2010, at the invitation of H.E. Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, President of the Republic of India.
  • The President of the ROK was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on 25 January 2010. During the visit, President Lee met President Patil, and also held a summit meeting with Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh. On 26 January, President Lee will be the Chief Guest at the celebrations to mark the Republic Day of India.
  • During the summit meeting, the two leaders discussed ways to develop bilateral relations and exchanged views on regional and international issues. They expressed satisfaction on the strong development of India -ROK relations based on the "Long-term Cooperative Partnership for Peace and Prosperity" established in October 2004. Both sides welcomed the steady growth in high level exchanges and contacts between the two countries, and the expansion in various areas of bilateral relations including defence, trade, science & technology, information & communication technology, education, and culture.
  • Recognizing that the India-ROK partnership is based on the principles of common interest, mutual benefit and shared values, the two leaders agreed that there is immense scope for further enhancing bilateral relations in various areas. In this context, they also welcomed the entry into force of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) on 1 January 2010 as the bedrock of a new comprehensive partnership between India and the ROK. They also recognized that, as both countries are major economies in the region, the partnership has the capacity to promote regional growth, and to contribute to prosperity and economic development of Asia.
  • Referring to the common challenges that both countries face in ensuring security against non-conventional threats, the two leaders agreed on the importance of cooperating and consulting with each other in developing regional architecture in the broader Asia-Pacific region.
  • Considering that India-ROK Partnership is a factor for peace and stability in Asia as well as between the two countries, the two leaders decided to enhance bilateral relations to a Strategic Partnership. They also identified the following elements of the future relationship:

    Political and Security Cooperation
  • The two leaders agreed to maintain regular contacts, including on the margins of international meetings and conferences.
  • Both sides reiterated the importance of the India-ROK Joint Commission co-chaired by the Foreign Ministers of the two countries and acknowledged the necessity of holding the Joint Commission on an annual basis. It was agreed that the sixth meeting of the Joint Commission will be held in 2010.
  • The two leaders agreed that the Foreign Policy & Security Dialogue will be raised to the level of Vice Foreign Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT) of the ROK, and Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of India. It was also agreed that the first meeting of the upgraded dialogue will be held in 2010.
  • The two leaders agreed to strengthen dialogue and exchanges in the area of defence through regular high-level military exchanges. They also agreed to explore the possibilities of joint venture cooperation in research & development, and manufacture of military equipment including through transfer of technology and co-production. It was agreed that the third meeting of the Joint Committee on Defence Logistics and Industry will be held during the first half of 2010.
  • The two leaders also agreed on the need for greater cooperation between the navies and coast guards in areas pertaining to the safety and security of international maritime traffic. They shared the view that developing long-term cooperative relations in this area will contribute to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

    Economic and Trade Cooperation
  • Both sides shared the view that the CEPA will contribute to enhancing trade and investment flows between the two countries. They also reaffirmed their commitment to ensure the smooth implementation of the CEPA. It was agreed that the first meeting of the Joint Committee headed by Trade Ministers of the two countries or their representatives will be held in the second half of 2010 to review the status of the implementation of the CEPA.
  • The two leaders agreed to set a target of US$ 30 billion for bilateral trade to be achieved by 2014. They also agreed to strengthen cooperation in trade and investment, SMEs, SPS and Standards related measures, trade remedies and IPR issues.
  • Both sides agreed to enhance cooperation in the financial sector through bilateral consultations on macroeconomic policy, budget, taxation, finance, and public sector reform.
  • Noting that the expansion of mutual investment will contribute to the reciprocal economic growth of both countries, the two leaders agreed to enhance cooperation and support at the governmental level to nurture a favourable environment, including through mutual agreement on a revised Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC) before the end of 2010. The Indian side hoped that investment from the ROK into India will expand, including in the infrastructure and manufacturing sectors. In this context, referring to the project to set up a Korean industrial complex and technology zone in the State of Gujarat, the two leaders noted its potential to further accelerate the bilateral trade and investment linkages. The two leaders also recognized the need to expedite the implementation of the POSCO project in the State of Orissa. The Korean side hoped that Indian investment in the ROK will also expand. It was agreed that the fourth meeting of the India-ROK Joint Committee on Investment Promotion will be held in New Delhi in 2010.
  • Noting the important role of air transport network in promoting economic, social and cultural exchanges, the two leaders agreed to explore the possibility of enhancing air connectivity between the two countries. They also agreed to consider the early conclusion of a mutually beneficial Maritime Shipping Agreement.

    Science and Technology Cooperation
  • The two leaders recognized the importance of strengthening cooperation in the field of science & technology. They welcomed the outcome of the Meeting of the Joint Committee on Science & Technology held in Seoul in December 2009 and endorsed the decision of the two sides to consider creating a dedicated fund of US$ 10 million (with a contribution of US$ 5 million by each side) to promote joint research. The two leaders also agreed that the two sides may explore the possibility of upgrading the level of the dialogue.
  • The two leaders also agreed to strengthen cooperation in the information technology sector including through the expansion of mutual investment and personnel exchanges. They also welcomed the decision of the two sides to renew the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Information Technology and Services.
  • The two leaders welcomed the signing of the MOU on cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space between the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) and expressed confidence that the MOU will facilitate strong cooperation between the two countries in this important sector.
  • The two leaders shared the view that nuclear energy can play an important role as a safe, sustainable and non-polluting source of energy. They agreed to facilitate development of a framework for bilateral civil nuclear cooperation.

    Social and Cultural Cooperation
  • Recognising the need to further strengthen cultural exchanges and people to people contacts between India and the ROK, the two leaders agreed to designate the year 2011 as ‘Year of Korea’ in India and ‘Year of India’ in the ROK.
  • The Indian side also welcomed the ROK initiative to open a Korean Cultural Centre in New Delhi in 2011, which will go a long way in further promoting awareness about Korean life and culture in India.

    Cooperation in the International Arena
  • The two leaders recognized the legitimate and long-term interests of both countries in the peace and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region, and the importance of developing an open and inclusive economic regional architecture that is based on the principles of mutual benefit and shared opportunity. In this context, they affirmed that both India and the ROK have a significant role to play in such a regional architecture and agreed to maintain regular consultations and close coordination in the EAS, ARF, ACD and ASEM processes.
  • Both sides agreed to work for comprehensive United Nations reform, including Security Council expansion, with a view to enhancing its representativeness and, consequently, its effectiveness, authority and efficiency, as well as its capacity to address various challenges facing the international community.
  • The two leaders reiterated their commitment to the eradication of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and agreed to enhance cooperation in this area, including through information sharing.
  • Both sides also reiterated their common commitment on nuclear disarmament and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.
  • The two leaders valued the G-20 as the premier forum for international economic cooperation and commended its timely and strong policy response in the crisis. They welcomed the Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth launched at Pittsburgh and looked forward to its implementation.
  • The two leaders welcomed the Copenhagen Accord. They reaffirmed their determination to work closely together in the negotiations both under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol towards an Agreed Outcome to be adopted at the 16th Session of the Conference of the Parties.
  • The following agreement and MOUs were signed during the visit:

    1. Agreement on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons
    2. MOU on Cooperation in Information Technology and Services
    3. Programme of Cooperation in the Fields of Science and Technology for the Period 2010-2012
    4. MOU for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space
  • The two sides agreed that the State Visit of the President of the Republic of Korea to India has reflected the recent trend in expanding bilateral relations between the two countries and that this visit will provide the impetus for a new vision of friendly and cooperative relations in the years to come.
  • On behalf of the Government and the people of the Republic of Korea, President Lee Myung-bak thanked the Government and the people of India for the warm and friendly hospitality accorded to him and his delegation. President Lee extended cordial invitations to President Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to visit the Republic of Korea at a mutually convenient time. The invitations were accepted with appreciation. The timing of these visits will be decided through diplomatic channels.

New Delhi
January 25, 2010

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