Seoul (South Korea), June 15: India and South Korea both on Wednesday signed an agreement for $10 billion in infrastructure assistance for development projects in India, including smart cities. The agreement was signed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on his 4-day official visit to Republic of Korea (ROK).
After his arrival, Arun Jaitley co-chaired the Fifth India-Korea Financial Dialogue with the newly-appointed Deputy Prime Minister and the Finance Minister of the Republic of Korea, Kim Dong-yeon at a Seoul, South Korea. Kim Dong-yeon stressed the importance that the new Government of ROK attaches to the development of the special strategic partnership with India.
Addressing the Financial Dialogue, both Ministers summarized the international economic situation and India-Korea bilateral economic ties in that context. Both agreed that in the face of uncertainty and the risk of rising protectionism, there was a vital need for the two countries to increase determinations to inspire investment flows, support for infrastructure development, and bilateral trade among others.
India is South Korea's eighth-largest export market with the total reaching US$11.6 billion in 2016. India being world’s fastest growing large economy offers Korea important opportunities to deploy its capital and technologies in India, and for India, South Korea’s interest in finding new openings to diversify its economic partnerships offers India great opportunities.
Further, the two Ministers countersigned the Agreements to establish US$ 9 billion in concessional credit and US$ 1 billion in Official development assistance (ODA) funding for infrastructure development projects in India. This fulfilled a decision taken in May 2015during the State Visit of Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi to South Korea. With the this Republic of Korea became one of the First non-G-7 countries to become an Official Development Assistance (ODA) contributor in India. They even agreed to consider deploying part of this fund towards the Smart City projects in India and to establish a mechanism at senior official levels for identifying good infrastructure projects in India to draw upon these funds.
Previously in the day, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley met the Korean Defense Minister, Gen. HAN Min-koo, where both Ministers discussed the rapidly growing bilateral defense partnership. Both Ministers expressed satisfaction at the rapid growth of ties Meanwhile the last meeting of Defence Ministers in April 2015 with the earlier signing of an Inter-Governmental Agreement on Strategic Partnership in Defence Production, and the finalization of a Make-in-India Project to manufacture 155mm Self-Propelled Artillery Guns in India.
They also welcomed the progress in building ties in Defence Education and looked forward to the expansion of this relationship through Policy Dialogue (a 2+2 dialogue) and through service-to-service ties.