Touring Asia, India’s president arrives today

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Touring Asia, India’s president arrives today


Indian President Abdul Kalam arrived in Korea today, marking the first official visit by an Indian president since South Korea and India established diplomatic ties in 1973. Mr. Kalam left India on Jan. 31 for his 10-day visit to three Asian countries (the other two are Singapore and the Philippines).
Mr. Kalam will hold summit talks with President Roh Moo-hyun tomorrow at the Blue House to discuss current issues on the Korean peninsula and in southwest Asia, as well as ways to increase cooperation between the two countries.
After the summit, the two leaders are expected to declare the beginning of formal negotiations for a comprehensive economic partnership agreement. During his 4-day visit, Mr. Kalam also plans to visit Yonsei University, the Daeduck Research Complex in Daejeon and a Samsung semiconductor plant in Gyeonggi province. Mr. Kalam will return to India on Thursday.
Trade between Korea and India increased to $6 billion last year from $2.5 billion in 2001. Korea is fifth-largest investor in the South Asian country, one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Mr. Roh visited India in October 2004, when he signed a long-term cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity agreement.

by Kim Soe-jung
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