Seoul: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived here today on the last leg of his three-nation visit during which he will hold talks with the South Korean leadership aiming to give a fillip to economic and trade cooperation. A slew of agreements are expected to be signed during the visit including one on Double Taxation Avoidance Convention, cooperation in shipping and logistics, audiovisual co-production, transport, highways and electric power development in new energy industries.
The Prime Minister, who flew in from Mongolia after his three-day visit to China, will hold talks on the entire gamut of bilateral, regional and global issues with President Park Geun-hye and explore ways to upgrade cooperation in diversified areas.
He will have a hectic schedule that will start with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Seoul National Cemetery. Modi will address a community reception where about 1,500 members of the Indian community are expected to attend before getting into talks with the Korean President. Modi, who is keen to woo Korean investments in India, will address India-Republic of Korea CEOs Forum, which would also be attended by the Korean President.
The Prime Minister will follow this up with meetings with some of the heads of Korean companies that are willing to invest in India or have already invested in India. He will also visit the Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard in the backdrop of shipbuilding emerging as an important area of cooperation between the two countries. Considerable significance is being attached to this visit, the first state visit to be exchanged between India and South Korea since the change of government in India in May last year.
Bilateral trade is about USD 16 billion and the two sides are keen to see that it goes up substantially. There are 300 Korean companies which have invested about USD 3 billion in India. They employ about 40,000 workers in India. India's investment in South Korea is close to USD two billion. Indian companies are looking forward to greater access in Korea to pharmaceutical and IT products.