New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will travel to Seoul on Sunday on a three-day visit during which India and South Korea will discuss ways to boost cooperation in key sectors like nuclear energy, trade and investment and defence, particularly in ship building.
Swaraj will co-chair the 8th Joint Commission meeting with her South Korean counterpart Yun Byung-se which will take stock of entire gamut of bilateral relationship besides focusing on ways to enhance ties in a range of areas.
In tune with the government's priority for speedy economic growth, the External Affairs Minister will seek greater investment by Korean companies by participating in the Make in India initiative in a big way.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said government was "extremely keen" that Korean shipyards participate in India's ship building activities including in the defence sector in which 49 per cent FDI is allowed.
"We welcome Korean participation in defence manufacturing joint ventures and to participate in our defence acquisition programmes. We feel that such cooperation will engender an ecosystem that will help both India and Korea in this important sector," he said.
He said nuclear cooperation is likely to figure in talks between Swaraj and Korean leaders as both the countries have already identified possible areas of engagement including on next generation reactors.
"The last discussion that we had with the Republic of Korea was in December during which there was a fairly detailed exchange of views on what would be the areas in which that we can see cooperation in the field of civil nuclear cooperation.
"We identified these as research and development, training of our scientific personnel and working together on next generation reactors," the spokesperson said.
He said expansion of trade ties will be a major focus area. Currently 300 Korean companies have invested approximately USD 3 billion and have employed nearly 40,000 people in India.
During her stay, Swaraj will have meetings with Minister of National Defence, Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, the National Security Advisor and leading Korean industrialists. She will also call on South Korean President Park Geun-hye.