As Chang Jae-bok assumed charge as South Korea’s Ambassador to India, he will have to shoulder the responsibility of further deepening ties between Seoul and New Delhi. His role will also be amplified since many Korean companies are now looking at India as an investment destination.
“The timing (of his taking charge) is crucial with massive geopolitical changes amid the Covid 19 pandemic, which has also altered global investment patterns and supply chain management,” a senior executive engaged with a South Korean major told India Narrative.
There are about 10,000 Koreans living in India at present.
The envoy said that as a newly emerging power, India holds vast potential and opportunities for bilateral cooperation. “Nearly 700 Korean companies, both big and small, have entered the Indian market and increased their investment. With K-Pop and other Korean Wave contents gaining popularity among the Indian youth, the interest of Indian people in Korean culture and language is steadily growing. In milestone developments, Korean history was included in the Indian school textbooks in 2018 and the Korean language was offered as a foreign language in Indian secondary schools in 2020,” Asian Community News quoted Chang Jae-bok as saying.
While the bilateral Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CEPA), between the two countries has been in place since 2010, trade touched $21.5 billion only in 2018 — crossing the $20 billion mark for the first time.
According to the Indian Embassy data, trade between the two countries in the January -December 2020 period stood at $16.9 billion. Besides, in 2018, Korea’s investment to India crossed the $1 billion mark for the first time, touching $1.053 billion.