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S.Korean envoy completes tenure in India, leaving behind a lasting soft-power legacy

India Korea Friendship Park (Photo credit-ACN)

South Korea’s ambassador to India, Shin Bongkil, who prepares to leave New Delhi after completion of his three-year term, will have reasons to cherish. It was only last year that India introduced Korean as the second foreign language in schools as part of the National Education Policy last year.

Jang Jae-bok, who is currently posted as the Ambassador for Public Diplomacy in Korea will assume take charge in place of Shin by the middle of next month, Asian Community News (ACN) said. Shin’s tenure will also be marked by the two brutal Covid 19 waves that hit India.

Also read: Korean trade body chief lauds India's Baniya community for its contribution to the economy

The Korean Embassy under Shin along with other Korean associations arranged for oxygen concentrators. “It was not easy during the lockdown period but the embassy arranged for the logistics to transport the same to the Korean community staying in far-flung areas,” ACN quoted Euy Don Park, President, Federation of Korean Associations in India as saying.

While the bilateral Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CEPA), is in place since 2010, bilateral trade between the two countries touched $21.5 billion only in 2018 — crossing the $20 billion mark for the first time.

Trade between the two countries in Jan-Dec 2020, recorded $16.9 billion, according to Indian Embassy data. In 2018, Korea’s investment to India crossed the $1 billion mark for the first time, touching $1.053 billion.

India – RoK Trade and Economic Relations

Foreign direct investment (FDI) from South Korea into India up to September 2020 stood at $6.94 billion.

“The Korean community in India appreciates his approach to make good relationship with India considering the fact that India is an important county for Koreans,” Park said. ACN further noted that it was during the tenure of Shin that the construction Korean Indian Friendship Park was completed in New Delhi, and Suriratna park (Queen Ho) park came up in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh.