Rao for stronger Indo-S. Korean fiscal tie-up
The prime minister, Mr. P V Narasimha Rao, on Friday stressed the need for increasing the pace as well as the volume of economic cooperation between India and South Korea.
Addressing the 12th joint meeting of the Indo-Korean Joint Business Council (JBC), Mr. Rao said he had personally come to Seoul to tell the Korean businessmen that they could avail of the liberalised economy and invest and collaborate with Indians for mutual benefit.
Referring to the unipolar world, he said no single country could help all others. Some ten to 15 developing countries, including India and South Korea, should take the lead to forge economic cooperation among the Third World countries, he added.
Mr. Rao said in the new picture of the world, after the end of the Cold War, every nation had to count and India was ready and willing to play its role and cooperate with South Korea.
The prime minister said a number of proposals and suggestions to expand Indo-South Korea relationship had been made by Indian and Korean businessmen, and added the JBC was part of the institutionalised set-up to expand information and awareness of the business opportunities among the private sectors of the two countries.
About 50 Korean industrialists, led by the Daewoo group vice-chairman, Mr. Lee Kyung-Hoon, and 20 Indian business leaders, headed by Mr. S R Jiwarajka, took part in the JBC meeting to discuss cooperation in trade, investment and technology.
The prime minister in his speech said, “I am very happy to be amidst my people.... It is just natural to be happy to meet one’s own people.
Wherever our people have gone they have mingled with the host countrymen. They have adopted the culture and way of life of the land, and have made a significant contribution to the economic and social life of the country. I am proud of you all.”
Continuing with his address, the prime minister said, “The most important task before India is related with the economic policies and programmes. This is our top priority area. We are ready to push it forward... and I have specifically come here for this purpose. My arrival should bring you, here in Korea, a clear-cut message.”
“Actually I have never been connected with any of these subjects. I was education minister, foreign minister, and health minister - of course, you are not concerned with health - (loud laughter), for some time I was connected with industry, but never with finance. I don’t know whether I can understand your language and whether I can speak in that language. But it is the need of the hour. I have met several people in India, they made suggestions and I understood them, at least I have made an attempt to understand them, and gathered experience.
“We want to evolve our economic policies in such a way that we could face the coming tomorrow with courage. This is our priority. If all our policies were implemented, we would have our own culture, our civilisation, in the world. In the world, today, some countries are so powerful that they can change the map of developing nations. But even if they don’t extend assistance, our work will not stop,” he said amidst prolonged applause by Indian industrialists.
“We want that even if the map is changed we would have our own voice. We will not repeat theirs,” Mr. Rao said.
Later addressing a luncheon meeting organised by the presidents of the four Korean apex economic organisations, the prime minister invited South Korean business and industry to become India’s partners in trade, joint ventures and investment, as the Indian economy was potent enough to provide them with some good business opportunities.
Mr. Rao said complementaries in the infrastructure sector of the two countries provided scope for profitable interaction in areas like shipbuilding, port construction, highway development and exploration of oil reserves.
The prime minister asked the apex organisations to send a high-level Korean business delegation to India soon to obtain a first-hand knowledge of the Indian markets and business opportunities.
Mr. Rao said they could also undertake a thorough study of the Indian market to pinpoint the opportunities for Korean business in the country.