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Korea Bullish on East Despite Posco Episode

KOTRA, which is South Korea's national trade promotion organization, on Monday opened its fifth office in India at Kolkata.

PTI

Updated:December 11, 2017, 6:14 PM IST
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Korea Bullish on East Despite Posco Episode
Korean companies are keen to invest here (Bengal). West Bengal is an important market for us not only geographically but also strategically," Hansoo Park, president of KOTRA Southwest Asia, said. (Image: Hansoo Park/Facebook)
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Kolkata: Korea Trade-Investment Agency (KOTRA) on Monday said it still believes eastern India offers a lot of opportunities despite steelmaker Posco's USD 12 billion steel plant in Odisha remaining a non-starter.

KOTRA, which is South Korea's national trade promotion organization, on Monday opened its fifth office in India at Kolkata.

"Kotra city office is responsible for many states of east and NE states. Korean companies are keen to invest here (Bengal). West Bengal is an important market for us not only geographically but also strategically," Hansoo Park, president of KOTRA Southwest Asia, said.

He added the Posco episode rendered several insights and lessons and an experience in local relation building.

Hansoo Park, however, did not elaborate on them but said said he believed the time is good now as things are changing.

In 2005, the world’s fourth-largest steelmaker Posco, had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Odisha government to set up a 12 million tonne capacity steel project in Jagatsinghpur district at an estimated cost of USD 12 billion.

The project was mired in controversies and even after the passage of 12 years, Posco has been unable to set up the plant.

The KOTRA office in Kolkata will focus on areas like food processing, mining, electronics and machinery for potential investment in this part of the country.

State finance minister Amit Mitra, speaking at the inauguration of the office said both West Bengal and KOTRA should work together in a time-bound manner.

South Korean acting Ambassador to India Hai Kwang Lee recently heaped praise on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her "vision and strong persuasive capabilities" and said his country is looking for investment opportunities in the state as it is an important market.

Already, 20 Korean companies have presence in this part of the country and more are keen to have operations here, he had said.

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