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India-Korea Joint Commission Meeting: Jaishankar calls for new areas of cooperation

India-Korea Joint Commission Meeting: Jaishankar calls for new areas of cooperation (Image: @DrSJaishankar)

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Wednesday called for expanding cooperation in areas of critical and emerging technology to a safe and secure Indo-Pacific in his opening remarks at the 10th India-Korea Joint Commission Meeting in Seoul.

Speaking of the “enormous goodwill” between the two nations, the minister, who was joined by representatives from the Ministry of External Affairs, Defence and NITI Aayog, said that bilateral ties have grown from strength to strength.

“Let me say today that I approach this joint commission with a great deal of optimism and expectation. I know that there is enormous goodwill between us. Our challenge is to translate that into practical outcomes,” S. Jaishankar, who co-chaired the meeting with his Korean counterpart, Cho Tae-yul, said.

As the two nations celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic ties last year, S. Jaishankar spoke of the crucial role played by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in elevating the relations between the two countries to a “special strategic partnership” during his visit to Seoul in 2015.

“It is important that we live up to that. We have grown from strength to strength. In the years that have passed, we have become truly important partners for each other,” he said, highlighting bilateral exchanges and cooperation in trade, investments, defence, etc.

The minister emphasised that while keeping up the momentum in the traditional areas of cooperation, India would be “very much interested” now in expanding into new areas”.

These included critical and emerging technologies, semiconductors, green hydrogen, human resource mobility, nuclear cooperation, supply chain resilience, etc.

Noting the growing convergence of the views of India and Korea in the international fora, S. Jaishankar underlined the importance of the Indo-Pacific saying that both India and Korea have “stakes in the stability, security, and prosperity” of the region.

Arriving in Seoul on Tuesday on his first visit, the minister said in an address at the Korea National Diplomatic Academy that India and South Korea can “actively contribute” to the reshaping of the global order.

He added that the partnership between the two nations is acquiring a greater salience in a more uncertain and volatile world.