S. Korea, India agree to increase economic cooperation

SEJONG, Jan. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and India have agreed to deepen economic cooperation in diverse areas in order to further advance their bilateral economic ties going forward, the finance ministry here said Friday.

The agreement was reached in a meeting between South Korean Finance Minister Hyun Oh-seok and his Indian counterpart Palaniappan Chidambaram in New Delhi on Wednesday. The meeting was intended to fine-tune agendas ahead of next week's summit talks between the two countries.

Hyun and Chidambaram shared the view on the "need to pave the way for mid- and long-term economic cooperation in order to advance economic ties between the two countries," the ministry said in a press release.

They agreed to work together in public-private partnership and infrastructure projects, while also promising to cooperate in budget, fiscal, procurement and other public sector issues, it added.

Hyun asked India to expedite its approval procedures for Korean banks seeking to open or relocate their branch offices there. He also requested the Indian government to "actively" help resolve challenges facing Korean companies in the Indian market.

Chidambaram, meanwhile, asked the Korean government to expand its investment in India, especially in the fields of infrastructure and finance, the ministry said.

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