Inviting investments from South Korea and other countries into the infrastructure sector, President Pratibha Patil on Tuesday said nearly $1 trillion will be spent in the coming years to improve India’s roads, ports, railways and other core sectors.

“India attaches great importance to improving its infrastructure, for which about 1 trillion US Dollars will be required in the coming years.

“This provides a great investment opportunity for foreign companies, including those from Korea,” Ms. Patil, who is on a three-day visit to South Korea said.

“In expanding and modernising our roads, highways, airports, sea ports and railways, we will require investment from foreign entities and firms.

“We look forward to greater participation in this endeavour by Korean companies,” she said inaugurating a business interaction organised by Korea Chambers of Commerce.

“To us, in India, the Korean economic miracle is inspiring. It was the hard work of the people of this country, coupled with the successful business model that was adopted, which has created the incredible economic success that the Republic of Korea today represents.

“In India too, you spotted the economic opportunities long before others, and this first-mover advantage has enabled Korean companies to reap great profits in our country.

“Hyundai, Samsung and LG are household names in India today,” the President said.

Ms. Patil said that both India and Korea are exploring the possibility of upgrading the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), implemented since January 2010, to boost trade between them.

A high-level discussion in this regard is to begin in late September.

“Korean companies have adjusted extremely well to conditions in India. You are also making India the manufacturing hub for exports to third countries in South Asia, the Middle East and even Eastern Europe.

“Our bilateral trade rose by 40 percent last year, and by current projections is slated to reach 21 billion US Dollars during the current calendar year, and would comfortably reach the level of 30 billion US Dollars by 2014, the target we have set for ourselves.

“President Lee and I discussed the possibility of further upgrading our CEPA,” the President said adding that “expert level discussions will commence from late-September this year.”

The Indian President asked the North-East nation to further facilitate exchange of expertise between the two countries in industry and service sectors.

“Our IT companies are among the best in the world, and will be able to help Korean businesses in reducing costs and enhancing competitiveness.

“Similarly, Indian pharmaceuticals are of high quality coupled with low prices, and will be beneficial to Korean consumers,” Ms. Patil said.

The function was attended by members of Korean Chambers of Commerce and a delegation of about 30-members led by Deep Kapuria, Chairman, CII, National Committee on Automatation and Robotics.

More In: National | News | Business