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3.2.10

The ambassador of India is confident that 2010 will be a banner year for India and Korea.

"Korea and India have a long-term comprehensive partnership. It is more than an FTA and it also opens a way for investment," said India Ambassador Skand Tayal.

With the enforcement of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and the Program of Cooperation in Science & Technology agreement that came into effect last month, both countries have now entered a new phase of cooperation.

These agreements are also expected to help overcome the challenges both countries have been facing in making further developments in science and technology.

"Korea is very strong in manufacturing and engineering hardware. India is strong in innovation and information technology software," said Tayal. "We can both work together to develop new technologies.

"For India, we have to learn how to transfer technologies from the laboratory to a commercial application. For this, we want to learn from Korea."

As part of this initiative, the Indian Embassy has started a partnership with Daedok Innopolis, in Daejeon.

The deal will bring Indian experts together with their local counterparts in a regional cluster of scientific research, development and businesses.

Another goal of this partnership is to develop renewable energy, such as solar energy, wind energy, green growth technology and nuclear technology, which are important for both countries in preventing energy shortages in the global warming era.

For this partnership, the Korean government will allocate 5 percent of its gross domestic product into science research by 2012 and India's government will encourage research in new sources of energy under their National Solar Mission.

The ambassador, who came here in 2008, still has high hopes for what he can accomplish in Korea.

"My vision is for real friendship and partnership - partnership in peace and prosperity, peace in the region, peace in governance, in different political issues, scientific technology, cultural and educational sectors," said the ambassador.

He also urged for a deeper mutual understanding between the people from both countries.

In terms of friendship, the India-Korea relationship dates back as far as Korea's Gaya Kingdom, when an Indian princess from Ayodhya, known to Koreans as Huh Hwang-ok, came to marry King Kim Su-ro in 84 A.D.

Since the first consular relations in 1962, India and Korea have shown impressive results in terms of commercial trade, reaching $15.5 billion in bilateral trade by the end of 2008, according to the Korea International Trade Association.

Also, relations in the cultural and educational sectors have grown steadily in the past 40 years.

As of last year, over 6,000 Indians live in Korea with over 1,600 working as professionals, scientists and post-doctoral research scholars.

"This new (scientific) deal will open a new dialogue between Indian and Korean scientists, and scientific institutions in both countries," he said. "Earlier, it was done by individual effort under individual initiatives and there was no particular plan, but now the government and the institutions will come together."

"So it is the beginning and I am very hopeful that it will maintain and foster fruitful mutual relations."

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