India has made a strong point for early convening of the Joint Commission and 2+2 format meetings with South Korean leadership as it looks to deepen economic and strategic ties with Seoul. Minister for Finance and Defence Arun Jaitley yesterday met South Korean President Moon Jae In and discussed areas of cooperation. During his meeting in Seoul, the minister saw “immense opportunity for the two countries to forge partnerships in defence industry, infrastructure investment and manufacturing”, an official statement issued here said. Jaitley pressed for “early convening of the bilateral Joint Commission and the 2+2 Dialogue, to further take the relationship forward”, it said. During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Seoul in May 2015, the two nations had agreed to hold Joint Commissions led by the two foreign ministers annually to further the ‘special strategic partnership’.
Also, they had agreed to establish a joint vice- ministerial level defence and foreign affairs dialogue in the ‘2+2’ format. Two-Plus-Two Dialogue is the framework of talks that involves the foreign and defence secretaries of both sides. During the talks, Jaitley “emphasised on India’s conviction that an internationally-minded Korea is good for both Asia and for other nations”. Jaitley briefed the president about his meetings with his Korean counterparts the previous day.
“President Moon lauded the bold economic reforms in India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Jaitley and shared his belief that India was on its way to becoming a true economic power,” the statement said. In the process, he hoped that Korea would be a special partner and the special strategic partnership would continue to grow. He noted the presence of India’s highly-skilled professionals in Korea and hoped that such partnerships would continue to help both countries grow.
Welcoming Jaitley to Korea, the president thanked Modi for his good wishes since the election win, including over Twitter, recalling in particular Prime Minister’s gesture of doing so in Korean. “Recalling the prime minister’s congratulatory phone call of May 11, President Moon said there was a strong will on both sides in building the bilateral relationship,” the statement said. He also underlined that the decision to appoint a special envoy to India, for the first time ever by a recently elected Korean president, was a strong sign of Korea’s commitment to India relationship. Earlier in the day, Jaitley had separate meetings with the senior leadership of premier Korean companies, including Hyundai-Kia, Samsung Electronics, Hyosung Group, Hanwha Group, Doosan Heavy Industries and Hyundai Rotem.
The minister also separately met, over breakfast, leaders of Korea’s financial industry, including CEOs and CIOs of the Korean Investment Corporation, Korea Post, KB Financial Group, Shinhan Group, Woori Bank, Mirae Asset, Nonghyup, and Military Mutual Aid.