Sitharaman seeks greater access for Indian companies in Korea

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New Delhi, June 18 (IANS) Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday sought greater market access for Indian information technology (IT), agriculture and healthcare industries in Korea on Saturday.

“Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman impressed upon the Korean side for greater market access in agriculture, marine, healthcare, IT and other services in Korea. The minister said that the widening trade deficit was a matter of concern for India,” a statement from the commerce and industry ministry said.

Sitharaman and her Korean counterpart Joo Hyunghwan reviewed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) at the joint committee ministerial-level meeting of the two countries held here on Saturday, with a view to achieve qualitative and quantitative increase in trade.

Korea said it is open to increasing trade with India and allowing Indian exporters greater market access on a reciprocal basis, the statement said.

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“Both the ministers agreed that the utilization rate of the bilateral concessions given under CEPA need to be improved. The ministers agreed that Korean companies could invest in food processing of agricultural and marine products so that these value added products could be exported to the east Asian markets,” the statement said.

The need to encourage further participation of Korean companies in India’s key initiatives such as Make in India, Digital India, Skill India, Smart City projects, etc. was stressed upon, it said.

Korea also agreed to assess the visa requirements to enable Indian teachers to teach in Korea under the English Program in Korea (EPIK), the statement said.

The ‘Korea-India Infra and Industry Forum 2016’ was held on the sidelines of the ministerial joint committee meeting, and business-to-business MoUs (memorandum of understandings) were signed in the auto parts and waste-to-energy sectors, etc it said.

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