Dr. Pankaj Jha, Research Fellow,Indian Council of World Affairs,Delhi@all rights reserved with the author
reduction of both tariffs and non-tariff barriers in a phased manner is expected totake India-Korea relations to a higher level and enhance India’s presence in EastAsia
. Corporation between two countries, India and Korea was moulded accordingto the economic necessities as well as emerging complementarities. The India-Korea JSG had advocated for forging a Comprehensive Economic PartnershipAgreement (CEPA) encompassing trade in goods and services, measures for tradefacilitation, promotion, facilitation and liberalisation of investment flows, besidemeasures to beef up bilateral economic cooperation between the two countries.Among the 30 countries belonging to the Organisation for Economic Cooperationand Development (OECD), Korea is the second country(Singapore being the firstdeveloped nation) with which India has completed the JSG report as well as signedthe Free Trade Agreement in August 2009
.With the end of cold war when India undertook economic liberalization itadored China for its rapid economic growth but it wanted to emulate South Korea inmanaging economic liberalization. Many commentators have raised apprehensionswith regard to India treading the development path of Mexico or that of Korea. Onthe one hand Mexico was a case of stagflation while Korea was a case of plannedeconomic growth and sustained development over a long period of time. Indiawanted to carefully scrutinise the development part of Korea and undertook stepswhich are in consonance with the Korean ‘take off’ stage. Even after more than oneand half decades after the liberalisation initiative India has yet to reach Koreanmodel of growth but is poised to surpass Korea in the next two decades. Owing tothe close monitoring of Korean model during the initial stages, India has opened itsmarket for Korean companies and also due to this the foreign direct investmentfrom Korea to India multiplied during all these years. Companies like Samsung, LG,Hyundai and Korean telecom companies found easy docking in Indian market. Onthe economic front the two nations immediately found the required convergencebut on the other hand in terms of political understanding there is lot which needs tobe done. Also it has been opined that whether there can be strategiccomplementarities between the two nations. Both the nations are carefullyexploring this angle and the visits by the Korean President to India and IndianDefence Minister to Korea have highlighted this aspect. The paper deciphers thedifferent dimensions cooperation in different spheres and how the two nations cancomplement each other. In order to understand the intricacies of the relationship, itis useful to look at the historical aspect of the bilateral relationship.
Korea and India: Early Buddhist Contact
Historical and cultural contacts between India and South Korea date back to48 A.D. In ancient times Korean linkages with India were base on Buddhism
.Buddhism spread to Koguryo, Paekche and Silla, the early three kingdoms on theKorean peninsula, between the 4th and the 6th centuries. This period of twocenturies saw the emergence of many defining features of the early state --centralised officialdom to regulate increasingly complex social and economicrelations, and the rise of Buddhism as a common ideology of the state and aninstrument of political legitimation. The acceptance of Buddhism by the royalties of 2