Ahmedabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for greater investment from Korean companies at the India-Korea Business Summit 2018 in New Delhi on Tuesday, stressing that India is one the few countries in the world where one can find the three important factors of economy—Democracy, Demography and Demand—in place together. 

“Bilateral trade crossed $20 billion last year, for the first time in six years. Your open market policies have found resonance with India’s economic liberalization and “Look East” policy. As many as 500 Korean companies operate in India,” he said, but noted that, “Korea ranks only 16th in FDI inflow.”

In his 20-minute address which also underscored the commonalities between the two nations—“From Princess to Poetry and from Buddha to Bollywood”, Modi expressed appreciation for the Korean spirit of enterprise, saying, “I admire the way in which they have created and sustained their global brands. From IT and electronics to automobile and steel, Korea has given exemplary products to the world.”

The Prime Minister further spoke on measures taken to increase “ease of business”:  “We have worked towards creating a stable business environment, removing arbitrariness in decision making. We seek positivity in day-to-day transactions. We are widening areas of trust; rather than digging into doubts. This represents a complete change of the Govt’s mindset,” he said, and added, “We are on a de-regulation and de-licensing drive. Validity period of industrial licenses has been increased from three years to fifteen years and more.... Factory inspections will only be need-based.”

“There is practically no requirement of govt approvals for manufacturing sector, except in the defence sector,” he also said.

“A new India is emerging, which will be modern and competitive and yet caring and compassionate… we are working with the mission of transforming India from an old civilization into a modern society, an informal economy/ into a formal economy,” he said.

“We are already the third-largest economy by purchasing power. Very soon, we will become the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP. We are also the fastest growing major economy of the world today. We are also a country with the one of the largest start-up eco-systems,” Modi also said.

The second edition of the India-Korea Business Summit, with the theme “India-Korea: Scaling up the Special Strategic Relationship through Trade and Investments” is being organized by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Chosun Ilbo, the largest media business group in Korea.