Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday asked South Korean businessmen to help India expand its burgeoning solar and nuclear power sectors by investing in these environment-friendly technologies.
“Investment from Korea is a priority for India. We will take pro-active steps to address investor grievances and improve the business climate in the country. Many states of our Union have been actively encouraging foreign investment and we will support these efforts. I urge Korean industry to have faith in India,” Manmohan Singh said.
“We are committed to increasing energy efficiency and the share of renewables, including solar and nuclear power, in our energy mix,” Singh told a group of top Korean CEOs in Seoul.
Among the CEOs present was Kim Joong-Kyum of the Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco), which has interests in nuclear power that meets 45 per cent of Korea’s electricity requirements.
“There will be large business opportunities and I am aware of Korean capabilities in environmentally friendly technologies,” the Indian Prime Minister said at a meeting organised by Korean industry chambers.
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, during a bilateral meeting with Singh on Sunday, had requested that his country be allocated a site in India to build nuclear reactors.
Apparently sensing the concerns of the Korean businessmen with regard to the much-delayed USD 12 billion Posco steel project in Odisha, the Prime Minister told the CEOs that “our processes can be slow but there are effective mechanisms for resolution of problems and differences and a strong rule of law.”
“The government is keen to move forward with the Posco project and there is some progress in this regard. I believe that India is a stable and profitable long-term investment opportunity,” he said.
Besides KEPCO, CEOs of Samsung Electronics, Tata Daewoo, Ssangyong Motors, Hyundai Motors and Doosan Heavy Industries were present at the meeting.
He said India was also one of the fastest growing major economies of the world.
“Despite the adverse international environment, we have managed to maintain a growth rate of 7 per cent per annum in the last few years. I am confident that the strong fundamentals of our economy will help us return to a sustained growth path of about 8-10 per cent per annum in the coming years,” he said.
Singh said over the past few years the government has invested heavily in education, health and agriculture to give a new deal to rural India. “Our rural markets are now booming and the middle class is growing rapidly,” he said.