Modi woos South Korean businesses, winds up three-nation tour

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Narendra Modi trying his hand on archery at Mini Naadam Festival, in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on May 17, 2015.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the President of Republic of Korea, Ms. Park Geun-hye after making the Press Statements , in Seoul, South Korea on May 18, 2015.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the President of Republic of Korea, Ms. Park Geun-hye after making the Press Statements , in Seoul, South Korea on May 18, 2015.

Seoul/Ulsan, May 19 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday outlined his vision of an inclusive Asian century fuelled by India’s progress and wooed South Korean businesses to ‘make in India’ in a big way.

Winding up his two-day visit to South Korea, the final leg of his three-nation visit, Modi addressed the Asian Leadership Forum and also the India-Republic of Korea CEOs Forum.

He visited the Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) shipyard, one of the biggest ship construction companies in the world, in Ulsan where he spent over an hour.

Modi held talks on Tuesday with top South Korean CEOs, including LG Electronics’ Kim Jin-hong and POSCO chief Kim Jin-il and Hyundai Motor Co’s Chung Jinhaeng.

On Monday, Modi had held talks with President Park Geun-hye after which the two sides inked seven agreements, including for avoidance of double taxation.

Seoul also offered to provide $10 billion for infrastructure projects in India, including smart cities and railways.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing at the 6th Asian Leadership Conference, in Seoul, South Korea on May 19, 2015.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing at the 6th Asian Leadership Conference, in Seoul, South Korea on May 19, 2015.

Addressing the Asian Leadership Forum, that was also attended by President Park, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Sheikha Mozah of the Qatar royal family, Modi said India “is the new bright spot of hope” for the region and the world and India’s progress will help make the Asian dream “a bigger reality”.

He said India’s growth has rebounded to 7.5 percent per year, and it was poised to grow further.

Modi said “Asia will succeed more when all of Asia rises together” and said the prosperous countries must be prepared to share their resources and markets with those who need them.

“India is located at Asia’s crossroads. And, we will assume our responsibility to build an inter-connected Asia,” Modi said.

“An Asia of rivalries will hold us back. Asia of unity will shape the world,” he said.

Later, addressing the India-Republic of Korea CEOs Forum, Modi praised the spirit of entrepreneurship of the Korean people.

“We in India want to achieve a lot of what Korea has already done. The good news is that India-Korea bilateral trade has risen after signing of Korea-India CEPA in January 2010,” Modi said.

The prime minister said there was a lot of scope for improvement in bilateral trade.

He assured of the renewed commitment of his government for changing the face of the country, and said there was potential for cooperation between India’s software and Korea’s hardware industry.

“Your car-making and our designing capabilities can be put together. Your steel-making capacity and our resources of iron ore can be put together. Your ship-building capacity and our agenda of port led development can become driver of our growth,” Modi said.

President Park, addressing the forum, said “Modinomics and Korea’s 3.0 economic plan can combine to become central drivers for lifting the global economy”.

Park also proposed strengthened cooperation between India and Korea in manufacturing, creative economy and new energy industries.

Modi travelled to Ulsan, a South Korean city located on the southeastern tip of the Korean Peninsula, to visit the Hyundai Heavy Industries Shipyard, one of the biggest ship construction companies in the world.

“Shipbuilding is a top priority for us,” Modi told Hyundai chairperson Kil Seon Choi.

On Monday, Modi invited South Korean investments in areas like ship building, including LNG tankers.

Both countries are to set up a Joint Working Group on shipbuilding.

He had also met the Friends of India in South Korea association and thanked the members for helping foster closer ties between the two nations.

“I feel proud to meet all of you,” Modi told the members.

“This is a very special meeting in Korea for me,” he said.

Narendra Modi departs from Seoul for Gimhae, in Seoul, South Korea on May 19, 2015.
Narendra Modi departs from Seoul for Gimhae, in Seoul, South Korea on May 19, 2015.

He also urged the members to participate in the International Day of Yoga on June 21.

Modi left for home from Gimhae International Airport, where he had arrived earlier from Seoul to travel to Ulsan.

In a departure statement, he said his visit to South Korea had been “very satisfying” and expressed his thanks to the people and government for their warm hospitality.

He said his meetings with President Park and business leaders were fruitful.

“Many aspects of strengthening India-Korea cooperation were discussed,” he said, according to tweets posted by the prime minister.

“I leave with the confidence that our ties will get even better and our relationship will benefit people of our nations,” he said.

Modi had earlier visited China and Mongolia during his May 14-19 trip.