The visiting South Korean Trade Minister, Kim Jong-Hoon, on Thursday said India should not “disregard” the importance of the proposed $12-billion Posco steel project as the project would bring in a great deal of value for industry in the country and generate thousands of jobs.

“We don't have to disregard the importance of this greenfield investment, which can create a great deal of jobs in India and a great deal of values for Indian industry,” Mr. Kim told journalists here.

The 12-million tonne per annum project, proposed in Orissa and billed as the largest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India, did not encroach on forest land and should be given the go-ahead at the earliest, Mr. Kim said. “The site where we are trying to set up the steel mill is not in my mind forest area.”

Citing statistics, Mr. Kim said “a good part of foreign inflows into India goes to the stock markets, but what produces more value, what produces more jobs is greenfield investments and the Posco is a good example.”

He said both countries should work together to find a good solution in case of any environmental concerns.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma expressed the hope that the issues delaying the project would be removed soon. “There are certain issues. I am sure that whatever the glitches are, will be removed,” he said.