South Korea and India will strengthen their strategic partnership during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Seoul next week, Seoul's top envoy to New Delhi said Friday.
Modi is scheduled to arrive Monday on the last leg of his East Asian tour that has taken him to China and will later take him to Mongolia.
His two-day visit will be aimed at strengthening the two countries' ties not only in trade and investment but across a wide range of sectors, including politics and defense, according to Ambassador Lee Joon-gyu.
"The two countries forged a strategic partnership in 2010," the ambassador, who is in Seoul to prepare for Modi's visit, said in a meeting with reporters.
"This time, they will raise the partnership by one notch. This will be an expression of determination that the two countries will strengthen cooperation not only between their economies but also on the international stage at a strategic level, such as in politics and defense," he said.
The new agreement will call for frequent exchange visits between the two countries' senior government officials and greater cooperation on issues related to foreign affairs and national defense.
Since taking office last May, Modi has pushed to develop India's economy through a wide range of policies, the most important of which is the "Make in India" policy aimed at building up the country's manufacturing sector.
Modi considers South Korea to be an important partner in his economic development drive, Lee said, citing India's interest in South Korea's shipbuilding, electronics and machinery industries, among others. During his trip, the prime minister plans to visit a shipyard in the southeastern city of Ulsan.
On Tuesday, more than 20 CEOs from the two countries will hold a forum here to discuss ways to deepen economic cooperation and will then propose them to their governments.
Last year, two-way trade amounted to US$18.1 billion.
Modi will hold summit talks with President Park Geun-hye and visit the Cheonggye Stream in central Seoul to learn about South Korea's water purification system, which could be adopted for use in his own country, the ambassador said. (Yonhap)