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Transcript of Media Statements by Prime Minister of India and President of Republic of Korea in New Delhi

January 16, 2014

Prime Minister of India:Your Excellency President Park,
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media,

I am delighted to welcome President Park on her State Visit to India. We have just concluded wide-ranging discussion on matters of bilateral interest and regional and global importance. This has enabled us to impart further substance, greater content and new momentum to the Strategic Partnership between our two countries.

President Park and I agreed that sustaining trade growth and expanding economic exchanges are vital for a stronger India-Korea relationship. Korean businesses were in the vanguard of the discovery of India unleashed by our structural reforms in the early 1990s. Today, as a result of further reforms, India offers greater avenues and opportunities for them.

Our negotiations for revision of the existing Double Taxation Avoidance Convention have concluded. We have been exploring the possibility of establishing a Korean Industrial Park in India. President Park and I also agreed to set up a CEOs Forum comprising captains of industry and commerce from both countries to provide us with new ideas for deepening our economic collaboration.

I am happy that the large-scale POSCO steel project in Odisha is set to be operational in the coming weeks, following the revalidation of its environmental clearance. Grant of mining concession for the project is also at an advanced stage of processing. I conveyed to President Park our hope that this project will confirm that economic growth and environmental protection can go hand in hand.

Political and security cooperation between our countries is expanding steadily. President Park and I decided to establish an annual interaction between the national security structures of our countries. We also agreed to launch a Cyber Affairs Dialogue between our Governments.

India and the Republic of Korea recently held the first round of structured consultation between senior defence officials. President Park and I recognized the possibility of defence trade and joint production by further promoting collaboration between our defence research organizations. The Agreement on Protection of Classified Military Information signed today will also boost our defence engagement.

In the area of Science and Technology, our collaboration has been highly rewarding, with many practical projects being financed through the 10 million US dollar Joint Fund that we established in 2010. The Memorandum of Understanding on Joint Applied Research signed today will enable our scientists to work together and develop technologies for our common benefit. We are also stepping up collaboration in the peaceful uses of space science and technology.

Distance has been no barrier to communication between the people of India and Korea since ancient times, and we are determined to bring them ever closer in the years that lie ahead. The Cultural Centres set up in Seoul and New Delhi have energized people-to-people engagement. Korean tourists are visiting India in increasing numbers. I conveyed to President Park the decision of the Government of India to extend a ‘tourist visa on arrival facility’ to nationals of the Republic of Korea. We are also exploring the possibility of better civil aviation links.

President Park and I also had an opportunity to touch upon regional issues, particularly developments in the Korean peninsula and our cooperation in the East Asia Summit processes.

The visit of President Park has imparted fresh momentum to our partnership. I am confident that our talks today have laid out a road map for the expansion and enhancement of our Strategic Partnership in the coming years.

Thank you.

President of Republic of Korea (Ms. Park Geun-hye): Namaskar!

I would like to extend my appreciation to His Excellency Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Government of the Republic of India for the warm welcome. I am pleased that I am making my first overseas trip this year to India, the cradle of human civilization, which has long-standing historical and cultural ties with the Republic of Korea.

On the basis of its policies of economic reform and opening, and strength in such cutting edge sectors as IT industry, India has attained a rapid growth and as such came into the limelight of the world. I would like to applaud the leadership of His Excellency Manmohan Singh and the potential of the Indian people for enabling such a rise of your country.

Since the establishment of diplomatic ties, the two nations have seen a tremendous progress in a number of areas over the past forty years. Signing the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement in 2010 in particular has moved the mutual relationship significantly forward not only in economic cooperation but also in cultural and people-to-people exchanges.

Building on such a strong foundation, today we discussed ways to further elevate the relationship between the two nations in a manner that is more substantive and mutually beneficial as strategic partners, and adopted the ROK-India Joint Statement for expansion of the strategic partnership. I am of no doubt that the Statement will serve as a blueprint for the future of our relationship.

We the two leaders in order to promote cooperation in the field of economy, where the two nations are complementary and have great potentials for collaboration, agreed to facilitate a joint study on a mid to long term roadmap for cooperation and make the utmost effort to complete the process of upgrading the Korea-India CEPA as expeditiously as possible. In this vein it was agreed to organise a bilateral meeting of Trade Ministers in Seoul at an early date.

As the largest ever investment planned by a Korean company which will also become a symbol of bilateral economic cooperation, POSCO plan to make a total 12 billion dollar investment in the project in Odisha of which implementation has been delayed so far. However, in the month leading up to my visit, the handover of the land was completed, the environmental clearance was revitalised, and a substantial progress was made in the process of granting a prospecting licence. We agreed to work closely together in the future as well to ensure a smooth sail for the project.

We also agreed to enhance future-oriented collaboration in areas that are foundations for a creative economy such as basic science, ICT and space development so as to make concerted endeavours as partners for growth. In this spirit, today an MoU and an implementing agreement were signed to promote a joint study by industries, academia and institutes and bolster mutual cooperation in ICT and space technology among others.

On the occasion of my visit, our two leaders have agreed to revise the long-delayed Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement. I believe that it is meaningful that we laid an important foundation for expanding our bilateral investment and improving business environment.

I also emphasised that an expeditious approval of branch establishment by Korean banks in India will greatly contribute to increased trade and investment between Korea and India. The two leaders noted the significant potential of cooperation we have in the areas of infrastructure and energy.

Prime Minister Singh welcomed the participation of Korean companies in India’s infrastructure-building projects. And our two leaders with a view to ensuring smooth financing for infrastructure development highly evaluated the conclusion of the MoU for cooperation between bilateral financial institutions, and the two million dollar sized inter-bank export credit line agreement.

I expressed gratitude to India for its decision to extend visa-on-arrival facility to Korean nationals. Our two leaders evaluated that this decision will increase convenience of Korean people and further revitalise people-to-people exchanges between Korea and India.

Prime Minister Singh and I shared a view that we have a significant potential for broader cooperation in the field of foreign policy, security and national defence. With this shared understanding in place we have agreed to hold regular dialogues between our National Security Council and sign the agreement on the protection of classified military information with a view to expanding strategic communication while building a basis for collaboration in foreign policy, security and national defence.

In particular, to solidify our strategic partnership in politics and security, we also recognised the importance of mutually beneficial cooperation in the defence industry area. In this context, I asked the Prime Minister for his interest in support for the export of Korean minesweepers to India and other defence industry projects which are under way right now.

I expressed my gratitude to the hon. Prime Minister for reiterating his support for the trust-building process in the Korean Peninsula and the Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Initiative, …(Inaudible)… stability on the Korean Peninsula on promoting cooperation in the region.

Moreover, I stressed that nuclear weapons development of North Korea poses a severe threat to the Korean Peninsula as far as peace and stability in the region emphasising that the North’s position on nuclear weapons shall never be tolerated. In this field our two leaders shared the view that North Korea must fully comply with international obligations and commitments including the UN Security Council’s Resolutions on the North’s nuclear issue.

I would like to express my appreciation once again to His Excellency Prime Minister Singh and the people of India for the warm welcome and hospitality.

Bahut bahut dhanyavaad! Thank you.

(Concluded)

New Delhi,
January 16, 2014



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