Seoul Assembles in Noida
         Date: 18-Jul-2018
The duo of PM Narendra Modi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in has strengthened the relationship between the two nations more emphatically. Samsung manufacturing unit in Noida leads by example!
Swati Deb
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the visiting Korean President Moon Jae-in on July 9 inaugurated a new Samsung mobile manufacturing facility in Noida (Uttar Pradesh) PM Modi described the occasion as a special one, in the journey to make Bharat a global manufacturing hub. He added that the investment of about Rs 5000 crore would not only strengthen Samsung’s business links with India, but is also crucial in the context of the relationship between India and Korea.
 
PM noted that the digital technology is playing a key role in making the lives of the common men simpler, which includes faster, and more transparent service delivery and processes. He spoke of the expansion of smart phones, broadband and data connectivity, which he described as characteristics of a digital revolution in Bharat. In the same breath; he also spoke of the Government e-Marketplace (GeM), growth of digital transactions, BHIM App, and RuPay cards. 
 
Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)
 
New Delhi has managed to secure extended visas for intra-corporate transferred Indian nationals working in Korean firms. They will now get permit for three years instead of one year, as mandated earlier, as per the revised India-Korea free trade agreement.
Also, India can now export greater amount of shrimp, beer and processed food at lower duties. This move would reduce the trade deficit with South Korea by $12 billion. The two countries have set a target of increasing bilateral trade to $50 billion by 2030. Indian mangoes, maize corn, castor oil, bakery items and other marine products will also make their way to Korea at lower duties.
Samsung Shines
The new Samsung unit in the outskirts of Delhi would give a new vigour to Prime Minister’s much talked about ‘Make in India’ initiative and also herald a new wave of job-oriented growth especially related to the manufacturing sector.
 
In his address in presence of President Jae-in, PM Modi said the Korean electronics giant Samsung has made a niche for itself in Indian market especially by its penetration in the smart phone market.”....there is no doubt that Samsung has made a special place for itself among Indian consumers especially by its penetration in the Smart Phone Market.....Whenever I interact with business captains, I always say there could be hardly any middle class house which has no Korean product,” PM said.
 

PM Narendra Modi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in take a tour of the world's largest mobile phone manufacturing facility after its inauguration ceremony, in Noida on July 9, 2018

 
Speaking on the occasion, he also referred to the significance of Digital Technology and maintained how it is making normal life much easier. "In India, we have around 40 crore smart phone users and 32 crore are using broadband facilities,” Modi said.
 
“In last four years, we have seen emergence of 120 manufacturing units of mobile phones from two. In fact, out of this 50 per cent are in Noida and this has given jobs to four lakh people,” he said.
 
The new 35-acre Samsung Electronics facility will be able to manufacture nearly 120 million mobile phones. The company has recently announced a Rs 5,000 crore investment to expand its India operation and double its production and try to sell the products overseas including in European countries.
 
Job-led Growth
The mega event at Noida, a neo-emerging IT hub in Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP)-ruled Uttar Pradesh, does hold some political significance for Narendra Modi and BJP as elections are due in the States of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram.
 
The general elections to Indian Parliament are also due in less than a year from now. The fact that four lakh people have managed new jobs in Noida itself in last four years and number of mobile manufacturing unit has gone up to 120 answers the Modi critics who had unleashed attack on the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) dispensation for alleged joblessness especially after ban on high value currency notes in 2016 and the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) from July 1, 2017.
Yoga for Taekwondo
Indian Yoga instructors can setup their schools in South Korea in exchange of Korean taekwondo teachers imparting training of the martial art in Bharat. Earlier only yoga instructors could go to Korea but now yoga as a service can be provided under all four modes.
 
Bharat-Korea Partnership
The Korean President Moon is on a four-day visit to India. Prime Minister Modi and the visiting dignitary will lead the delegation level talks on July 10, Tuesday in the capital.

 
 
"India is fast becoming a major power with the fastest growing economy in Asia. It is also a key nation for cooperation under the New Southern Policy of Korean government," a Korean official has been quoted as saying.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on the visiting Korean President earlier in the day and both the leaders discussed bilateral issues.
 
“It is important that our two countries are forming the Korea-India Future Vision Strategy Group this time. Joint research and exchanges of talented people will likely be expanded in the areas of ICT, software, biotech, cyber security, healthcare, energy as well as future cars and space development.”
Moon Jae-in, President, South Korea, On the need to join forces to work towards Industrial Revolution 4.0
 
 
 
They held positive discussions on further elevating the Special Strategic Partnership by expanding ties across several sectors, MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar said.
 

 
 
On completion of his four-day visit to India, President Moon will also visit Singapore from July 11 and these visits are largely seen as a push by his government for 'new southern policy'. This signals Republic of Korea's new approach to the countries in Asia, primarily focusing on ASEAN and India.
It also talks about the comfort factor that South Korea enjoys towards India, experts say.
 
(The writer is a senior journalist)