India and South Korea on Tuesday agreed to expand trade by upgrading the existing bilateral agreement and resolving industry specific issues to achieve $50 billion bilateral trade by 2030.
Commerce minister Piyush Goyal and Korean trade minister Yeo Han-Koo on Tuesday held “wide ranging discussions” covering bilateral trade and investment-related matters in New Delhi, a commerce ministry statement said. “The Ministers agreed to impart fresh momentum to the discussions on CEPA (Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement) up-gradation negotiations and also promote extensive B2B (business-to-business) interactions on trade and investment between the industry leaders of the two countries,” it said.
The two ministers agreed with “the spirit of openness” to address difficulties expressed by industry from both sides and instructed their respective negotiating teams to meet on a regular basis in order to conclude the CEPA up-gradation negotiations as soon as possible to achieve the target of $50 billion before 2030, which was agreed at the summit meeting in 2018, it said.
“The ministers agreed to boost bilateral trade between India and Korea to achieve growth in a fair and balanced manner to the mutual advantage of both sides,” it added.
The Indian side has been pushing for a review of CEPA finalised in 2009 to bridge its high trade deficit with South Korea, according to two officials who requested anonymity. “The discussion will focus on addressing the large trade deficit, market access issues and non-tariff barriers faced by Indian exporters and discussions will also focus on investment-related issues,” said a commerce ministry statement issued on Monday.
South Korea’s total foreign direct investment to India up to September 2020 was about $6.94 billion. It is one of the key investors in India.