Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is on a two-day visit to South Korea on the invitation of President Moon Jae-in, reached Seoul on Thursday morning.
This will be his second visit to the Republic of Korea and the second summit meeting with President Moon Jae-in. The prime minister is receiving the Seoul Peace Prize, announced by the Seoul Peace Prize Foundation in October last year.
The visit is aimed at strengthening the special strategic partnership between India and the Republic of Korea (ROK) and also boosting bilateral trade and cultural ties.
The Ministry of External Affairs said the visit would strengthen India’s special strategic partnership with South Korea and add dynamism to the Look East Policy.
Ahead of his visit, the prime minister described South Korea as an important partner for India’s key initiatives such as ‘Make in India’, and said as fellow democracies the two nations share values and vision for regional and global peace.
In his departure statement, he said his visit to the East Asian nation is reflective of the importance “we both attach to our relationship”.
“We regard the Republic of Korea as a valued friend, a nation with which we have a Special Strategic Partnership.”
As fellow democracies, India and the ROK have shared values and a shared vision for regional and global peace,” the prime minister said.
“As fellow market economies, our needs and strengths are complementary. South Korea is an important partner for our ‘Make in India’ initiative as well as in our ‘Start-Up India’ and ‘Clean India’ initiatives,” Modi added.
He said collaboration between the two in the field of science and technology is encouraging, with joint research ranging from basic to advanced sciences.
“Our people to people ties and exchanges, as always, provide the bedrock of our ties of friendship. We were touched by President Moon’s decision to send the First Lady as his special representative at the ‘Deepotsav’ Festival held in Ayodhya last November,” he said.
“Working together, we are determined to take our relationship forward as a ‘future-oriented partnership for People, Prosperity and Peace’,” the prime minister said.
PM Modi was greeted by the Indian community in South Korea with the Indian flag in their hands and taking selfies with the PM as he landed in the East Asian capital.
Later, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a bust of Mahatma Gandhi at Yonsei University in Seoul as part of his two-day South Korea visit. India is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation this year.
PM @narendramodi speaking at the unveiling of Mahatma Gandhi bust at Yonsei University : The solution to twin challenges of climate change and terrorism facing the world today, could be found in Mahatma Gandhi’s life and his philosophy . pic.twitter.com/b9mGyKk1Vy
— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) February 21, 2019
Speaking at the occasion, PM Modi said, “The thoughts and ideals of Bapu have the power to help us overcome the menace of terrorism and climate change, two challenges humanity faces in these times.”
At the inauguration, PM Modi said, “It is an honour to unveil the bust of Bapu at Yonsei University in Seoul. This becomes even more special because we are doing so at a time when we mark the 150th birth anniversary of Bapu.
If we look at Gandhi’s message of achieving our goals through non-violence and winning hearts, we will find our path to combat terrorism
Earlier in the day, PM Modi addressed the India-Korea Business Symposium and highlighted different steps taken by his government to transform India into an investor-friendly ecosystem. “India has emerged as a land of opportunities. While we work for realizing the ‘Indian Dream’, we seek like-minded partners. And, among them, we see South Korea as a truly natural partner,” Modi said at the event.
“We are one of the most open countries for Foreign Direct Investment today. More than 90 per cent of our sectors are now on automatic route for approval,” Modi said while delivering the keynote address at India-Korea Business Symposium.
“I wish to see more & more Korean businesses turning their attention to India”, added the PM.
PM gifts a Bodhi tree sapling to Mayor of Gimhae Heo Seong gon as a mark of close ties between South Korea and India.
Reinforcing the historical & civilizational linkages between India & Korea.
Mayor of #Gimhae Heo Seong gon called on PM @narendramodi in #Seoul. PM gifted a Bodhi tree sapling as a mark of close ties between our two countries. Gimhae and Ayodhya have sister-city relationship. pic.twitter.com/ES2XBwH7Tx
— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) February 21, 2019
Prime Minister also met the members of India-Korea Parliamentary Friendship Group emphasizing on the role of Parliament in improving bilateral relations between the countries.
During the visit, PM Modi will be accepting the Seoul Peace Prize conferred upon him by the South Korean government.