Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sh. Shashank & Sh. A.P. Gandhi on "India- Korea Relations"

A panel discussion on “India- South Korea Relations” was organized by Centre for East Asian Studies on January 27, 2010 at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. The meeting discussed and reviewed the developments in India-Korea relations on the occasion of the South Korean President Lee Myung-bak's visit to India during January 24-27. The meeting was chaired by Prof. Srikanth Kondapalli; Chairman, Centre for East Asian Studies. The speakers were Ambassador Shashank; former Foreign Secretary of India and former Indian Ambassador to South Korea, Mr. A.P Gandhi; Founder and CEO Hyundai Motors India and Dr. Jitendra Uttam; Assistant Professor, Centre for East Asian Studies.

Professor Kodapalli in his introductory address has laid down the significance of Korean President’s visit and the importance of India-Korea relation in the current international political milieu. Dr. Jitendra Uttam gave a presentation on the historical background of India-Korea relation and has focused on the current economic relations between India and South Korea. Dr. Uttam has argued that India-South Korea relation is entering in to new era with the induction of India-Korea Free Trade agreement and has observed that the Indian government’s invitation of South Korean President as the Chief Guest on the occasion of Republic Day as the symbolic depiction of this future partnership. Ambassador Shashank has shared his expertise on improvising India-Korea relations as the Indian ambassador to Korea in the mid 1990s and has focused on current strategic importance of India-Korea relations in the context of the rising Chinese influence in Asia. He appraised the potential for India and South Korea to cooperate in areas of mutual interest such as nuclear technology, space technology, maritime security, defense and anti-terrorism. Mr. Gandhi has shared his rich experience of working with Hyundai India by focusing on the challenges faced and strategies adopted by the Korean companies to flourish in the Indian market. Mr. Gandhi has dealt in length on the management and social responsibility practices of Korean companies in India and has observed that the Korean companies in India are instrumental actors in India-Korea relation.

Panelists and the participants discussed various facets of India- Korea relation including economic, political, cultural and strategic, both at bilateral and multilateral level. The meeting observed the significant role of academic research and academic institutions in the India-Korea relation and has called for further advancement of academic engagement towards understanding Korea.

Jojin V John
Research Scholar
Centre for East Asian Studies

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