Speaking at a plenary session on the India – Korea CEPA at the 2nd India – Korea Business Summit, Shri C. R. Chaudhary, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, noted, "There are a lot of opportunities for Korea to invest in India." Referencing the recent announcement of a public health services plan in Budget 2018-19, the Minister pointed out that this would be the right time for increased partnership in healthcare given the ongoing upgradation of the India-Korea CEPA. This was in cognisance of the fact that health services are not an open sector under the CEPA.
Ms. Rita Teaotia, Secretary, Department of Commerce, Government of India, highlighted, "The India – Korea CEPA is the main instrumentality that the two countries have to strengthen our partnership. It is a significant way for two forward looking, business minded countries with significant complementarities which must be utilised."
The President of the Asia Future Institute and Former Parliamentarian, Dr. Park Jin noted, "The CEPA between India and Korea was the right thing for the two countries. It is an opportunity for both to diversify their economic relations beyond the traditional US and European markets. The new Korean governments 'New Southern Policy' is a complementary policy for India's Act East Policy and must be used effectively." He also mentioned how, given the growing protectionism in the world, India and Korea need each other now more than ever.
Dr. Ahn Choong Yong, Former Chairman of Korea Commission for Corporate Partnership, pointed out, "India is a preferred market and investment destination in the post – China era." To make the CEPA more effective than it has so far been, he suggested, "The period over which tariff reductions are to take place must be accelerated. We also need to increase the target trade volumes to galvanise more trade. We must also increase the number of items under trade concessions."
"There is a changed backdrop since 2010 when the CEPA first came into effect and now, 9 years later. We must now look beyond tariffs at retail chains as a lens to study Korean investments in India. No commitment was made from the Korean side under CEPA for health services and a few other service sectors. This must be remedied, and the business summit is well placed to identify these complementarities."
Mr. Sanjay Chadha, Joint Secretary, Department of Commerce and Chief Negotiator for the India – Korea CEPA, mentioned, "there is a need to improve market access so that both sides can take advantage of the intended benefits under the CEPA. Industry 4.0 can be a driver and pool for our resources with Indian software technology backed by South Korean manufacturing."
"On investment, South Korea features amongst the leading source countries of FDI from 2008- 2009 onwards. Given that India has improved its position in World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Ranking, we are optimistic about attracting more investment from Korean companies." said Mr. Naishadh Parikh, Member, CII National Committee on International Trade Policy.
February 27, 2018