India, South Korea may hold joint IPRs through trade pact

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Economic Times | 26 December 2017

India, South Korea may hold joint IPRs through trade pact

With South Korean companies establishing themselves as big players in India, the two countries plan to jointly hold intellectual property rights (IPRs) in areas of manufacturing, energy and healthcare.

The proposal will be within the negotiations for the bilateral trade agreement that the two countries recently reviewed. In the fourth round of negotiations of the India-Korea comprehensive economic partnership agreement or CEPA held on December 21, the two countries finalised a Futures Group comprising experts from academia and industry to work on joint research and development and networking.

The two countries have zeroed in on internet of things, electrical and automotive manufacturing, renewable energy, water management and medical equipment as some areas to work together. "We will decide how to rope in experts from Indian Institutes of Technology and other premier institutions to be able to create an environment for joint IPRs and build capacity," said an official in the know.

Commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu had announced forming such a group in September when he visited South Korea to review the CEPA. In June last year, the two countries began official talks to improve the trade agreement. Further, they launched an initiative ’Korea Plus’ in India to promote and facilitate South Korean Investments in India.

The likes of LG, Samsung and Hyundai have established strong presence in India with big market shares, something that the two governments feel can be used for greater cooperation in areas of research. The Futures Group is likely to be set up early next year and will give an impetus to India-Korea trade and investment.

Bilateral increased to $16.82 billion in 2016-17 from $16.57 billion in the previous fiscal, but the trade surplus is tilted towards South Korea at $8.3 billion.

The official said Korea has also proposed to bring on board some of its industrial giants in the group. Major Korean conglomerates such as Samsung, Hyundai Motors and LG have made significant investments in India, estimated at nearly $3 billion, while Indian investments in South Korea have already exceeded $2 billion.

source: Economic Times