While appreciating the 70 percent growth in the first two years of implementation of Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with Korea, the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Shri Anand Sharma underlined the concern that bilateral trade of late has been rather slow and has shown a negative growth rate. In a bilateral meeting with his Korean counterpart Mr. Yoon Sang-jick on the sidelines of ASEAN Ministerial meeting in Brunai today, Shri Sharma also pointed out to the widening trade deficit for India. Realizing the need for more balance in the bilateral trade, the Korean Minister agreed to consider providing better market access to Indian products. Minister Sharma identified sectors like IT, generic medicine, textiles & garments in which India needed greater access. A balanced trade is conducive to long term, sustainable and harmonious development of our economic cooperation said Shri Sharma. In January June 2013 India™s import from Korea stood at USD 6.34 billion while exports were USD 1.77 billion in the same period. In entire 2012 exports stood at USD 4.14 billion while imports were USD 13.50 billion.
Shri Sharma elaborated on the huge opportunities available for the Korean companies to invest in infrastructure development in India. Besides, He informed his counterpart about the 12 National Investment and Manufacturing Zones (NIMZ) coming up in India as part of the National Manufacturing Policy which aims to increase the share of manufacturing in GDP from the current 16% to 26%.
The Korean Minister evinced interest in the concept of Industrial Cities and observed that the Korean companies needed to know more about it. The two Ministers agreed to have a Ministerial meeting to discuss issues related to market access. Minister Sharma also agreed to send an official delegation to Korea to showcase the National Manufacturing Policy and the opportunities that exist for the Korean companies.
Both the ministers agreed to work towards the regional economic cooperation and integration under RCEP, recognizing the importance of flexibility towards concluding RCEP negotiations by end of 2015.
In his meeting with the New Zealand trade Minister Mr. Tim Groser, Minister Sharma discussed about the progress made in the India-New Zealand FTA negotiations. The ministers also shared the views on the early harvest during the Doha Development Development Round to be held in Bali in December 2013.