New Delhi: With the signing of a comprehensive India-South Korea free trade agreement, Indian professionals from 160 sectors such as IT and engineering would now be able to get easy short-term Korean visas.
The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) was signed between India and South Korea on August 7 and it not only covers trade in goods but also encompasses free flow of services and investment between the countries.
The services, which contribute around 55 percent of India`s GDP, are of key interest to the country and needed a push which the CEPA would provide.
"Korea has agreed to provide short-term visas to contractual service suppliers and independent professionals," a senior Commerce Ministry official said.
Industry body Ficci also said that the pact would facilitate market access for Indian services providers and professionals.
"We are expecting that not only IT sector but also engineering, finance and legal services will be benefited in the Korean market," Ficci Secretary General Amit Mitra said.
Korea`s total import of services was worth USD 90 billion in 2008. "If we can manage to capture 8 to 10 percent of that, it will give a boost to the services industry," Mitra said.
In 2007-08, India exported USD 2.85 billion worth of goods to South Korea, posting a rise of 13.5 percent over the previous year.