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India seeks to expand partnership with South Korea: EAM Jaishankar

India wants to expand its strategic partnership with South Korea into new areas like critical and emerging technologies, semiconductors, and green hydrogen to make the bilateral ties more contemporary, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on March 6.

Mr. Jaishankar’s remarks came as he co-chaired the 10th India-South Korea Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) with his counterpart Cho Tae-yul.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Jaishankar said that during Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s visit to South Korea in 2015 the bilateral relations were elevated to a special strategic partnership.

“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 and our bilateral exchanges, trade, investments, defense, and science and technology cooperation have all seen a steady growth while keeping up the momentum in the traditional areas of cooperation,” the Minister said.

“We would be very much interested now in expanding into new areas, such as critical and emerging technologies, semiconductors, green hydrogen, human resource mobility, nuclear cooperation, supply chain resilience, etc to make our ties more contemporary,” he said.

He said the two nations witnessed a growing convergence of their views in the international fora.

“The focus on the Indo-Pacific region is a good case to point, and we both have stakes and its stability, security, and prosperity,” he said.

Mr. Jaishankar said he approached the joint commission with a great deal of optimism and expectation.

“I know there is enormous goodwill between us. Our challenge is to translate that into practical outcomes,” he said.

“Our leaders met twice last year in Hiroshima and New Delhi. I think their discussions have provided us the guidance to go forward,” he added.

He also congratulated Mr. Cho for his appointment as Foreign Minister in December.

“So let me offer my best wishes for your successful tenure,” he said.

Mr. Jaishankar is in Seoul on the first leg of his four-day visit to South Korea and Japan.

The JCM is expected to comprehensively review the entire gamut of bilateral cooperation and explore avenues for further strengthening it. It will also provide an opportunity for the two sides to exchange views on regional and global issues of mutual interest, the Ministry of External Affairs said in New Delhi ahead of Mr. Jaishankar’s visit.

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