Bilateral ties between the two nations received a significant boost with the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Korea in 2015. The two nations decided to commence negotiations to amend the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and strengthen cooperation in sectors such as energy, electronics and shipbuilding.
The bilateral consular relations established between India and The Republic of Korea in 1962, were upgraded with Ambassador appointment in 1973. The year 2018 marks 45 years of successful diplomatic ties between the two nations.
Both countries have made great strides in their relations in recent years, spurred by a significant convergence of interests, mutual goodwill and high-level exchanges.
With the visit of Indian PM Narendra Modi to Korea in May 2015, the bilateral relations were upgraded to ‘Special Strategic Partnership’. In the ‘Joint Statement for Special Strategic Partnership’, the Indian Prime Minister and the Korean President agreed to establish a 2+2 consultation mechanism at Secretary/Vice Minister of Foreign Office and Defence Ministry.
Bilateral meeting between PM Modi and President Moon Jae-in on the sidelines of G-20 Summit, held in Hamburg in July 2017, led to discussions on further participation through programmes like ‘Make in India’, ‘Digital India’ and ‘Start-up India’.
The Republic of Korea ranks 13th in FDI inflows to India, investing $ 3.1 bn during 2000-18. Metallurgy, automobile, electronics, prime movers, machine tools, hospital and diagnostic centers are the sectors that attracted maximum FDI.
Bilateral trade touched $ 20.8 bn in 2018. Imports from Korea were valued at $ 16.4 bn during 2017-18. Auto-components, telecom equipment, iron & steel products, petroleum refined products and mechanical appliances are key areas for imports.
Exports to Korea were valued at $ 4.5 bn during 2017-18. Non-ferrous metals, petroleum and related products, chemicals and textile yarn formed the bulk for exports from India.
Korea and India signed the CEPA Free Trade Agreement in August 2009, which became operational from 1st January 2010. In addition, the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Korea was established in January 2010 to support Korean companies interested in doing business in India.
Korea houses Indian Council for Cultural Relations in Seoul and Busan to promote Indian culture in the country and also to strengthen cultural and educational ties between the two nations. The Council offers regular classes in yoga, dance, Hindi language, musical instruments and cooking.
Sarang, the annual festival of India in Korea was initiated in 2015 to showcase diverse Indian culture and art forms in various parts of Korea.
Several arrangements between Korean and Indian educational institutions continue to promote people-to-people exchanges. Indian institutes like Jawaharlal Nehru University and the Delhi University offer programmes in Korean studies and Korean language courses.
Bilateral Civil Aviation Agreement of 1994 was revised in November 2015 to increase weekly flights between the two countries to 19, starting new operations by Korean Airlines with direct flights to Delhi. India also extended the visa-on-arrival facility for Korean tourists from April 2014 to boost travel between the two countries.
Super Mega Food and Herbal Park Project [Yamuna Expressway]
Sugar Project [Kannauj]
Mega and Medium Food Park Project [Odisha]
Sugar Project [Bijora]
Hyundai Motors plans to invest about $ 980 mn in a new vehicle production capacity in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Scheduled to become operational by 2021, the investment is expected to create 1,500 direct jobs initially
Chandigarh-based LetsShave has raised fresh funding from leading Korean razor blades manufacturer Dorco against a 10% stake. The company plans to expand its online business and product portfolio.
The Korean lifestyle brand entered India in September 2018 with its flagship store in Kolkata. The company expects to invest over $ 110,000 and offer 1,200 unique items across eight categories in the Indian market. Currently, Mumuso has one warehouse in West Bengal and plans to increase this number alongside expansion.
Samsung inaugurated its new mobile phone manufacturing facility in Noida - the largest in the world, built at a cost of $ 756 mn on an additional 14 acres of land.
The auto giant Kia Motors has set up their first car manufacturing plant in India in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh with an investment of $ 1.1 bn. The factory is expected to start production from January 2019 at an annual capacity of 300,000 units.
Nodal agency between investors and government
Joint team of investment experts from both countries
One-stop-agency for Korean investors