Seoul: South Korea on Monday decided to provide USD 10 billion to India for infrastructure, development of smart cities, railways, power generation and other diversified areas as the two countries agreed to upgrade their bilateral relationship to a "Special Strategic Partnership".
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is here on a mission to woo investors, and South Korean President Park Geun-hye held discussions on a wide range of issues and resolved to add "new substance, speed and content" covering defence, trade and investment, and regional cooperation to take the bilateral ties to a qualitatively higher level.
Addressing a joint press meet with President Park, Modi said, "Korea's rapid progress has made the vision of an Asian century stronger."
"We consider Korea a crucial partner in India's economic modernisation," said Modi, who arrived here from Mongolia on the last leg of his three-nation tour that also took him to China.
President Park said ties between the two countries have progressed substantially and the two sides were committed to improving business environment.
The two sides signed seven agreements and Memorandum of Understanding including one on Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on income.
A joint statement issued at the end of the talks said India sees Korea as an "indispensable partner" in its "Act East" strategy and that both countries "recognise the value of the bilateral partnership and its contribution to bringing peace, stability and security in the Asia Pacific Region."
The Ministry of Strategy and Finance and the Export-Import Bank of Korea expressed their intention to provide USD 10 billion for cooperation in infrastructure, comprising Economic Development Cooperation Fund of USD one billion and export credits of USD 9 billion for priority sectors including smart cities, railways, power generation and transmission and other sectors to be agreed, the statement said.
The two governments and the EXIM banks of the two countries will hold consultations to chalk out a roadmap in order to materialise the envisioned financial support for priority sectors, it said....