South Korean president arrives on four-day visit

South Korean president arrives on four-day visit

South Korean PresidentSouth Korean President Park Guen-hye arrived here Wednesday on a four-day state visit, during which she will hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and both sides are expected to pitch for maximising their partnership in several areas.

Park, the country’s first woman president, is being accompanied by a 70-member business delegation. She was received by Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur.

The two sides are to discuss bilateral, regional and global issues. The visit will expand and strengthen the India-Korea Strategic Partnership.

The daughter of former president Park Chung-hee, who ruled South Korea for almost two decades, Park took over as president in February last year.

The Korea Herald, in an editorial, said Seoul and New Delhi “have yet to maximize cooperation”.

It said that though South Korea and India celebrated the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in 2013, “it can still hardly be said that the third- and fourth-largest economies in Asia have achieved the fullest potential of mutual cooperation”.

“It may be more accurate to say that South Korea and India have yet to put a full-fledged effort toward maximizing their partnership in a diversity of fields. President Park Geun-hye’s state visit to India this week is expected to provide a critical momentum to accelerate such endeavors.”

Bilateral trade stood at $17 billion in 2012-13 and is in favour of South Korea.

It said the two sides can enhance their partnership in the fields of information technology, aerospace and other high-tech industries, where India has global competitive advantages and also in the field of space.

During the visit, the two sides are set to discuss the need for increasing the level of trade as well as preventing double taxation for companies.

In a recent interview, Park stressed her desire to revise the bilateral Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

She has also voiced her keenness in South Korea becoming a “good partner” with India in building, operating and maintaining safer nuclear reactors.

“If we can collaborate with India in this sector, transferring know-how and technological skills, I believe it could do good for both sides,” she was quoted as telling Doordarshan.

But any agreement on a civil nuclear plant was unlikely, sources said.

After India, Park is to leave for Switzerland for four days. It will be the first state visit by a South Korean president to the European country.

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