NATIONAL

South Korea seeks collaborations in nuclear sector

Strengthening ties: South Korean President Lee Myung-bak (second right) with Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma (second left), CII president Venu Srinivasan (left), FICCI president Harsh Pati Singhania at a joint business meeting to address captains of Indian industry in New Delhi on Monday.

Strengthening ties: South Korean President Lee Myung-bak (second right) with Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma (second left), CII president Venu Srinivasan (left), FICCI president Harsh Pati Singhania at a joint business meeting to address captains of Indian industry in New Delhi on Monday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: Shanker Chakravarty

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on Monday urged the Indian government to look at Korea’s expertise in civil nuclear energy production and strike mutually beneficial collaborations in developing India’s nuclear energy capabilities and making the sector globally competitive.

Confident after securing a multi-billion dollar order for reactors from the United Arab Emirates, the Korean nuclear industry has identified India as an attractive market. The Korean nuclear industry has been in touch with Indian public sector companies and despatched its senior officials to India in September last year for a business scouting mission.

Addressing captains of Indian industry and trade at a business meeting, the South Korean President said that in his meeting with External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, the two sides discussed cooperation in the field of civil nuclear energy among other issues. “I apprised him about the Korean capabilities in the sector and told him that this was a very productive area to collaborate for mutual benefit and it would make your nuclear energy sector globally competitive,” he said.

Mr. Lee urged Korean companies to invest in Indian growing economy and Indian companies to turn their attention to Korea. Business cooperation between the two sides, he said, would be productive and effective in view of the complementarities between the two economies and the competitive advantages enjoyed by the Korean and Indian companies.

He laid stress on people-to-people exchanges — of engineers, scholars and students — make the benefits arising out of the Korea-India CEPA more meaningful.

Investment destination

In his address, Minister for Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma pointed out that India had become a major investment destination with a huge market for automobiles, consumer electronics — areas that Korean companies excelled in. The business community of the two countries could also engage in healthcare, IT and BPO sector, he said.

He was confident that the Korean President would create conditions for Asian integration to ensure that Asia plays a leading role in global affairs.

Confederation of Indian Industry president Venu Srinivasan suggested setting up of dedicated trade and investment promotion agencies in each country to bridge the information gap regarding procedures and regulations faced by potential businesses. These agencies could target Tier-2 and 3 cities in India, which were thriving centres of entrepreneurship and a few promising sectors could be shortlisted for targeted intervention, including automobiles, telecom, electronics and electrical machinery, textiles, leather and pharmaceuticals.

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) president Harsh Pati Singhania pointed to the tremendous potential for technology transfer between small and medium companies of both countries and suggested that Korean companies could look at joint ventures as well as sub-contracting arrangements with Indian companies in the areas of semi-conductors, plastics, auto parts, agricultural instruments, textiles, multi-media, ceramic products, and software.

Recommended for you