Park wraps up visit to India after laying groundwork for greater economic cooperation

By Chang Jae-soon

NEW DELHI, Jan. 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Park Geun-hye left for Switzerland on Saturday after a state visit to India, where she sought to lay the groundwork for boosting trade and other economic exchanges with the world's second-most populous nation.

Her summit with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh produced an agreement Thursday to revise the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement -- a free trade pact in place since 2010.

The revision, if realized, would allow South Korean firms wider access to the massive market of 1.2 billion people.

Park also used the summit to ease the way for South Korean firms to do business in India, agreeing with Singh to revise the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement at an early date.

The summit also helped clear key obstacles that have since 2005 held up South Korean steel giant POSCO's project to build a steel plant in the eastern Indian state of Odisha. Singh pledged full support to make sure the project will go forward smoothly.

On Friday, Park shifted the focus to cooperation with the private sector.

She attended a meeting with information technology experts from both countries, calling for greater IT cooperation between the two countries. She stressed that South Korea and India are strong in hardware and software, respectively, and combining these merits would generate great synergy for both sides.

Park also met with the chairman of Indian automaker Mahindra