India, South Korea review progress in economic partnership agreement

Vientiane (Laos), Sep 8 (IANS) India and South Korea reviewed the progress made in the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between the two sides here on Thursday.

“The two leaders reviewed progress in the negotiations to improve the India-South Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) as also the $10 billion financial package announced by South Korea for India’s infrastructure development,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said here following a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi South Korean President Park Geun-hye on the sidelines of the 14th India-Asean Summit and the 11th East Asia Summit.

“The EXIM banks of the two countries are discussing modalities for the utilisation of the package,” Swarup said.

While Modi described his visit to South Korea in May last year as memorable, President Park said the profile of India was rising due to the Prime Minister’s proactive leadership.

“She complimented him on the success of India’s economic development strategy, which had led to 7 percent plus growth rate despite the global slowdown,” Swarup said.

“The two leaders reviewed the Strategic Partnership which had been upgraded to a Special Strategic Partnership during the Prime Minister’s visit to South Korea.”

Both leaders agreed that their shared commitment to democracy and free market economy and complementary strengths made both countries ideal partners.

“President Park appreciated the Korea Plus programme initiated by the Prime Minister and said it would lead to further investments in India by Korean firms,” the spokesperson said.

The two leaders discussed further cooperation in areas such as counter-terrorism and maritime security as also developments in the region.

Modi also invited Park to visit, according to Swarup.

Earlier in the day, Modi met host and Laos Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith.

He is also scheduled to meet US President Barack Obama later in the day.

The India-Asean Summit on Thursday is being attended by leaders of 10 southeast Asian nations — Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand.

The East Asia Summit later in the day will be attended by leaders of the 10 Asean nations and those of India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the US and Russia.

–IANS

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