The issues that are affecting Korean imports of Indian goods include bovine meat, grapes, pomegranate, okra and eggplants along with steel and engineering products. Indian textile and leather exporters have also faced barriers with the South Korean Certification mark. This mark is required on textile/apparel items (including footwear and leather products) to be imported or sold in South Korea.

Reportedly, the issue comes down to stringent regulatory issues in Korea as well as an internal culture of doing business with known entities in some industries, such as steel, where India firms have had difficulties establishing new business.

Bilateral trade between the countries was worth US$17.5 billion in 2020-21. The trade is in favour of South Korea as India’s imports stood at US$128 billion while exports were worth only US$4.7 billion.

A joint statement after the meeting established that both sides have agreed to accelerate discussions on improving their free trade agreement and work towards promoting trade interactions between industry leaders in the two countries.

Source: Deccan Herald