Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Trade Zone

India is a very important business partner for us

 

Korea Trade Promotion Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) is a state-funded trade and investment promotion organisation operated by the Government of South Korea. KOTRA was established in 1962 as a national trade promotion organisation. Since then, with its long-term experience and expertise the body has served and assisted all interested parties worldwide to do business with Korea., facilitating the country’s rapid export led economic development through various trade promotion activities such as overseas market surveys and business matchmaking. In India, KOTRA currently operates four offices at New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai.
KIM YONG-CHAN, DIRECTOR GENERAL, KOTRA  offered SHRIKANT RAO an understanding of the current levels of engagement between India and South Korea.

 

Give us an understanding of the contours of the current trade relations between India and The Republic of Korea and the key areas of cooperation?

The current trade is in Korea’s favour with Korea exporting $11.3 billion worth of merchandise to India and importing about $6.2 billion from India. Korea exports mostly engineering and electronic Goods to India and imports chemicals, minerals and agricultural products from India

 

How important is India as a trade partner for Korea?  What is the view obtaining from Seoul of India as a business opportunities destination? 

India is an important business partner as it is amongst the fastest growing countries in the world. In addition to that it has a democratic government and a strong legal system.  Also Korean companies want to diversify from China and Japan to other Asian countries.  The Korean government is keen to rapidly scale up bilateral trade and investment and hence the India-Korea Comprehensive partnership Agreement (CEPA) has been signed between the two countries.
 

 

Briefly tell us about the role played by Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) as a business and trade facilitator and the main initiatives it has taken recently in building Indo-Korean relationship?

KOTRA has been an active facilitator in Indo-Korea trade. We have regularly organised trade meets and exhibitions in both India and Korea. In addition we have also helped Indian and Korean companies conclude joint ventures and technology transfer agreements. KOTRA has arranged the visit of more than 50 Indian businessmen to Korea in 2013 for various events and conferences.
We have also helped Korean companies set up base in India. Korean investment into India has mostly been in the steel and auto sector.

 

 

Could you name the important Korean companies which already have a presence in India and have established themselves as key players in the country’s development landscape? 

Korean companies like Samsung, LG Electronics, POSCO, Hyundai Motors, Doosan and  are already well established in India. They would be keen to participate in India’s
growth story.

 

 

What are the sectors of development in India in which Korean firms are looking to provide expertise?

Some of the sectors are engineering services, infrastructure projects, Smart City development, intelligent transportation solutions, metro construction, 4G and wireless communication, ship building, software and equipments, medical devices etc..

 

 

The Indian government has outlined its plan to create 100 smart cities, dedicated freight corridors and industrial corridors? What is the role your organisation is expected to play there?

Korean companies are keen to help the Indian government to prepare the master plan for these projects and execute the same using well developed Korean project management skills.

 

 

Tell us of the recent delegational visits from – and to – Korea that have taken place in the context of building of ties between Indian and Korean government and private firms? 

There are regular delegation visits from Korea to India. Recently the President of Korea visited India in January accompanying by a trade delegation. This delegation consisted of companies from the automative, IT and infrastructure sector. We organised meetings with Indian counterparts in Mumbai and Delhi. MOUs for cooperation were also signed between EEPC (Engineering Export Promotion Council) and KOTRA.  There is considerable interest amongst Korean companies to participate in construction and infrastructure projects in India.

 

 

Not much is known of the engagement of Indian firms in Korean projects. Tell us of the presence of Indian companies in Korea?  

Indian IT companies like TCS, Wipro and L&T Infotech are active in projects in Korea and are gradually scaling up their operations there.
 

 

Will you briefly touch upon the main challenges for Korean companies operating out of India?

The Korean companies operating out of India mainly face issues of project delays and lengthy procedures.

 

 

India is witnessing significant development in areas like airports, metro rail and railways. Tell us about the important landmark infrastructure and construction projects in Korea from which India can derive learnings?

The Seoul Airport has been consistently rated as amongst the best in the world. Similarly the Seoul Metro and High Speed Rail system are acclaimed for their efficiency. Korean companies are already providing the railway coaches and Automated Fare Collection System for many metro projects in India. The Korean railway communication and signaling system is also excellent and has good potential.

 

KOTRA: Building bridges

Since it was established in 1962, the Korea Trade Promotion Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), formerly called Korea Trade Promotion Corporation, has worked to create new export markets. It added a cross border investment promotion focus along with emphasis on support for technological and industrial cooperation projects in the late 1990s, supporting Korea as it overcame the Asian financial crisis. Since then, it has taken on new and expanding roles to support Korean companies expanding overseas, to attract foreign professionals, to fulfill their corporate social responsibility (CSR) and to create jobs overseas. With the vision to be a “global business platform,” it remains devoted to strengthening the global capabilities of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help Korea become one of the world's five largest trading nations and to contribute to Korea's achieving a trade volume of $2 trillion by 2020. The organisation in its engagement with countries, and in order to achieve its objectives, follows what could be referred to as the ‘ultakdongsi’ approach to business – which is akin to that of a hen and a recently born chick pecking simultaneously at an egg shell to break it. 

 

KOTRA currently operates Invest KOREA, the national investment promotion agency. Originally initiated as the Korea Investment Service Center (KISC) in 1998, the agency was relaunched as Invest KOREA in November 2003 to support foreign investors with an expanded range of services. It now pursues its twin mandates of trade and investment promotion to enhance national prosperity and competitiveness with the goal of positioning Korea as the business and economic hub of East Asia. With its experience and expertise, KOTRA assists interested parties worldwide to do business with Korea. It serves as a bridge between Korean exporters and overseas buyers. Vested with a well-balanced industrial structure, Korea is highly competitive in a range of output from traditional manufactured goods to high-tech products. KOTRA helps foreign buyers get quality products at the most competitive prices through business matchmaking, international exhibition and e-Trade. To take advantage of the era of e-Commerce, It launched the interactive internet portal sites of Invest KOREA Online (formerly Cyber KISC) in 2003 and BuyKorea in 2004.

 

 

Briefly tell us about the role played by Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) as a business and trade facilitator and the main initiatives it has taken recently in building Indo-Korean relationship?

KOTRA has been an active facilitator in Indo-Korea trade. We have regularly organised trade meets and exhibitions in both India and Korea. In addition we have also helped Indian and Korean companies conclude joint ventures and technology transfer agreements. KOTRA has arranged the visit of more than 50 Indian businessmen to Korea in 2013 for various events and conferences.
We have also helped Korean companies set up base in India. Korean investment into India has mostly been in the steel and auto sector.

 

 

Could you name the important Korean companies which already have a presence in India and have established themselves as key players in the country’s development landscape? 

Korean companies like Samsung, LG Electronics, POSCO, Hyundai Motors, Doosan and  are already well established in India. They would be keen to participate in India’s
growth story.

 

 

What are the sectors of development in India in which Korean firms are looking to provide expertise?

Some of the sectors are engineering services, infrastructure projects, Smart City development, intelligent transportation solutions, metro construction, 4G and wireless communication, ship building, software and equipments, medical devices etc..

 

The Indian government has outlined its plan to create 100 smart cities, dedicated freight corridors and industrial corridors? What is the role your organisation is expected to play there?

Korean companies are keen to help the Indian government to prepare the master plan for these projects and execute the same using well developed Korean project management skills.

 

 

Tell us of the recent delegational visits from – and to – Korea that have taken place in the context of building of ties between Indian and Korean government and private firms? 

There are regular delegation visits from Korea to India. Recently the President of Korea visited India in January accompanying by a trade delegation. This delegation consisted of companies from the automative, IT and infrastructure sector. We organised meetings with Indian counterparts in Mumbai and Delhi. MOUs for cooperation were also signed between EEPC (Engineering Export Promotion Council) and KOTRA.  There is considerable interest amongst Korean companies to participate in construction and infrastructure projects in India.

 

 

Not much is known of the engagement of Indian firms in Korean projects. Tell us of the presence of Indian companies in Korea?  

Indian IT companies like TCS, Wipro and L&T Infotech are active in projects in Korea and are gradually scaling up their operations there.
 

 

Will you briefly touch upon the main challenges for Korean companies operating out of India?

The Korean companies operating out of India mainly face issues of project delays and lengthy procedures.

 

 

India is witnessing significant development in areas like airports, metro rail and railways. Tell us about the important landmark infrastructure and construction projects in Korea from which India can derive learnings?

The Seoul Airport has been consistently rated as amongst the best in the world. Similarly the Seoul Metro and High Speed Rail system are acclaimed for their efficiency. Korean companies are already providing the railway coaches and Automated Fare Collection System for many metro projects in India. The Korean railway communication and signaling system is also excellent and has good potential.

 




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