‘Companies are disappointed by the fact that local governments (in India) cannot tackle things better’

It would be good if the Posco-India project can be pushed through” said Choonjae Cho, Head of the South Asia Team of the Centre for Emerging Economies Research, of the Korea Institute for International Policy.

The Korea Institute for International Policy (KIEP) is a think-tank which advises the government on all major international economic issues. To a question on the Posco-India project, he said that while conflicts were inevitable at the local level and understandable, they needed to be tackled fast.

Harsh realities

“Companies are disappointed by the fact that local governments (in India) cannot tackle things better…we too faced this sort of a thing during our industrial development, but we tackled it fast,” he said. Officially, the $12-billion investment proposal of Pohang Steel Company in India is South Korea’s largest overseas investment.

Korean FDI

On the anvil is a 12-million tonne capacity composite steel project near Paradeep . Total Korean FDI (foreign direct investment) proposals in India stood at $3.346 billion upto 2011.

The Posco project has encountered problems on account of land acquisition and environmental clearance.

“Korea is interested in tapping the Indian market,” said Park Hae Yun, Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

“We are keen to go to India for the huge economic potential that the economy offers,” he said. He was, however, unwilling to comment on the Posco issue. “We see India as a strategic partner who is also a strong and important trading partner.”

(This correspondent was recently in, South Korea, at the invitation of the Korea Press Foundation.)

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