Chairman of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry Rashesh Shah, Chairman of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry Park Yong-man, distinguished business leaders of Korea and India,
Namaste! I am pleased to meet you all.
My visit to India reminds me of Ladakh where I went trekking 20 years ago. The people of Ladakh were keeping their traditional lifestyle in harmony with beautiful nature. Though detached from modern civilization, they seemed to live in happiness.
Today’s New Delhi shows yet another aspect. On the foundation of traditions, high-rise buildings are standing tall and roads are teeming with cars and people. The city is very young and dynamic.
Coexisting in the city are the past and the future, nature and civilization, and philosophy and science. The harmony within this diversity must be the driving force behind the development of India.
As one of the four cradles of civilization, India left behind extraordinary footprints in world history. Buddhism and Hinduism originated in India, and many people around the world discipline their minds through these two religions. Out of that spiritual world come meditation and yoga.
It was also India that connected the human spirit to the physical world. The number zero went beyond the visible world and opened up the possibilities of infinity. India introduced the concepts of the decimal system and fractions to mathematics. The scope of science and technology has been unceasingly expanded because the esoteric psyche was embraced by the laws of physics.
Now dominating Silicon Valley are young Indians who were influenced by the spiritual world. New tech startups are being created even today in Bengaluru. Indian-born CEOs are leading Google, Microsoft and Adobe.
It is never by accident that India has produced Nobel laureates in many categories, including literature, physics, economics and peace.
The imagination of India shines in the realm of culture as well. Bollywood has turned into a creative film industry. I remember the Indian movie “Haathi Mere Saathi” in the 1970s, which was about the friendship between an elephant and a man. It was the first Indian film screened in Korea and reduced many Koreans to tears at that time. Recently, “3 Idiots” and “Dangal” have enjoyed great popularity in Korea.
I pay tribute to the people and business leaders of India, who are making great contributions to human history and leading remarkable economic growth.
Distinguished business leaders of Korea and India,
I intend to elevate Korean ties with India to the same level as those with the four major powers surrounding the Korean Peninsula.
Reflecting that commitment is the New Southern Policy. It is aimed at creating a peace-loving, people-centered community where all the people thrive together, going beyond simple economic cooperation. I defined this community by “the Three Ps”: People, Prosperity and Peace.
The New Southern Policy is in line with the Act East Policy that the Indian Prime Minister is pushing for. The completion of the two policies will be marked by prosperity in all of Asia.
India and Korea have a long history of exchanges and have been friends helping each other in difficult times. Princess Heo Hwang-ok from the Indian kingdom of Ayuta came to Korea about 2,000 years ago and later became the Queen of Korea’s ancient Gaya kingdom. In addition, India dispatched a medical corps during the Korean War and kindly treated the wounds of Koreans.
Now bilateral exchanges are taking root in the everyday lives of the people. Many Indian people drive Hyundai cars and use Samsung mobile phones while many people in Korea practice yoga to stay healthy and enjoy curry. My daughter teaches yoga in Korea. Exchanges and cooperation between the two countries help enrich the lives of both peoples.
Taking a huge step further, I propose cooperation based on deeper friendship.
India and Korea are the 7th and 11th largest economic powerhouses, respectively. However, bilateral trade amounted to US$20 billion last year; even though the amount was not small, it fell short of our expectations. Considering the complementary technologies and industrial structures of both countries, we will be able to cooperate in limitless areas. I hope this summit serves as an opportunity to help achieve epoch-making progress concerning economic cooperation between the two countries.
First of all, I would like to propose "the Three Ps Plus" for India, which includes forward-looking cooperation in addition to the Three Ps. This shows my will and that of the Republic of Korea to join hands with the dynamically developing country of India in the future.
Korea will actively contribute to the Make in India policy. As of now, approximately 500 Korean businesses are operating in the country; they are increasing their investments and offering quality jobs. Up until now, they have mainly engaged in the automobile, electronics and textile sectors, but they will expand operations into various other areas such as shipbuilding, medical equipment and food processing.
On top of this, I hope Korean companies will partake in large infrastructure projects to construct 100 smart cities and the Industrial Corridor connecting major cities, which the Indian Government is pushing for.
In the process of industrialization, Korea has accumulated advanced technological prowess and rich experiences in developing infrastructure and planned cities. This is well evidenced by the network of expressways spreading out in all directions and web-like subway systems. I am confident that Korea is the ideal partner for India.
Currently, our two countries are jointly pushing ahead with the construction of the Nagpur-Mumbai Expressway as well as smart cities in Kalyan-Dombivli and Bandra.
The Korean Government will fully support infrastructure projects by initiating a Korea-India financial package worth US$10 billion.
Most of all, cooperation between the two nations in future technology will create an enormous synergy and become a new growth engine.
As India has been concentrating on building its capability to prepare for the future, including through the Digital India initiative, Korea has also established the Presidential Committee on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and focused on seeking innovative growth.
If India’s world-class basic science and software technology are combined with Korea’s applied technology and hardware, the two countries will be able to lead the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
At the bilateral summit tomorrow, the two countries are scheduled to sign an MOU on the establishment of the Korea-India Future Vision Strategy Group, under which the existing cooperation on science and technology will be expanded to include industrial technology.
I am looking forward to bilateral cooperation on aerospace technology as well. A Korean satellite, KITSAT-3, was loaded onto an Indian launch vehicle and sent into orbit. If the two countries work together and succeed in exploring the Moon, it will imbue our people with great dreams and hopes.
The expansion of free trade is a shortcut to boost bilateral economic cooperation and exchanges. Now, negotiations are underway to upgrade the Korea-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and reach an agreement for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Increases in bilateral trade will benefit everyone. Bilateral people-to-people exchanges now concentrated in the information and communication technology sector will be expanded to include more diverse areas. I hope that the negotiations will be concluded at the earliest date possible.
Honorable business leaders from India and Korea,
Korea now faces a historic turning point. The inter-Korean summits and the North Korea-U.S. summit paved the way toward establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula. When peace is achieved, investment conditions in Korea will become even better, and there will be more business opportunities.
I speak to you with confidence that it is high time to invest in Korea. If you invest in Korea, the Korean Government will help you as much as we can.
“Help your brother's boat across, and your own will reach the shore.” This Indian proverb holds profound meaning. It suggests that if you give somebody a hand first and help each other, you can achieve something.
Bilateral exchanges and cooperation that have continued for thousands of years are now moving toward a prosperous and hopeful future. Korea will help the boat safely arrive on the shore. I am looking forward to India joining us.
Thank you very much.