Sun, 24 Mar 2019

Seoul [South Korea], Feb 21 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday gifted a

'Bodhi' tree sapling to Mayor of Gimhae Heo Seong gon as a mark of close ties between India and South Korea.

Spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar took to Twitter to inform:

"Mayor of Gimhae Heo Seong gon called on PM @narendramodi in Seoul. PM gifted a Bodhi tree sapling as a mark of close ties between our two countries." "Gimhae and Ayodhya have sister-city relationship," Kumar added.

Prime Minister Modi also unveiled a bust of Mahatma Gandhi at Yonsei University in Seoul. The President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in, First Lady of the Republic of Korea, Kim Jung-sook, and former Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, were present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister described it as an honour to unveil the bust of Bapu at Yonsei University.

"This becomes even more special because we are doing so at a time when we mark the 150th birth anniversary of Bapu," the Prime Minister said.

"Through his lifestyle, Bapu showed what living in harmony with nature is, and how one can minimise one's carbon footprint. He also showed that it is important to leave a clean and green planet for the future generations," the Prime Minister said.

Prime Minister Modi also addressed

'India-ROK Business Symposium' where he said that "India today, a country of 1.25 billion people, is going through a great transition. It is changing from an agriculture-dominated economy to an economy led by industry and services; an economy that is closed to one that is globally inter-linked

; an economy that is known for its red tape, to one known for its red carpet."

"India has emerged as a land of opportunities. While we work for realizing the 'Indian Dream', we seek like-minded partners. And, among them, we see South Korea is truly a natural partner. India-Korea Business relations have come a long way in the past decade, and especially closer in the last

few years," he said.

"India is among top 10 trade partners of Korea and India is the 6th largest export destination for Korean goods. Our trade volume has reached 21.5 billion US dollars for the calendar year 2018. The negotiations to upgrade the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement have been fast-tracked to a

chieve the bilateral trade target of 50 billion US dollars by 2030," he said.

Prime Minister Modi reached Seoul early on Thursday morning on a two-day visit aimed at strengthening the special strategic partnership between South Korea and Indian and boosting bilateral trade and cultural ties.

This is the Prime Minister

's second visit to the Republic of Korea after his state visit in May 2015. Before embarking on the visit the Prime Minister described South Korea as a valued friend with which India shares special strategic partnership initiatives such as 'Make in India,' 'Start-Up India' and 'Clean Ind

ia'.

India and South Korea are likely to sign a few MoUs during the summit between Prime Minister Modi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Blue House, which is the Korean Presidential Office where Prime Minister Modi will also be given a ceremonial welcome.

In the afternoon on Friday at a brief ceremony, the Indian Prime Minister will also be conferred with the Seoul Peace Prize, which was announced by the Seoul Peace Prize Cultural Foundation in October last year in recognition of his dedicated service to international cooperation, global growth, and human development. (ANI)

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