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South Korea shares pocket-friendly rail technology with India
By TOG News Service
Jul 11, 2018

TOG News Service, NEW DELHI, JULY 11, 2018: THE Research Design and Standards Organization (RDSO) and the Korean Railroad Research Institute today signed an agreement to boost cooperation to help improve railway infrastructure in India. The Republic of Korea has a very efficient high speed railway system, the technology for which would be shared with India at good prices.

Delegation-level talks were held between both sides. Thereafter, the Indian ambassador to South Korea, Mr Vikram Doraiswami, stated that RDSO officials visited Korea at the behest of the Railway Minister and the idea was to explore the Korean model of high speed railways and also a variety of railway technologies where Korea has strengths. It may be noted that Korea has shown interest in entering the high speed railway market in India. According to the Indian envoy, the Korean railway system has strengths in technologies including in the railway centre of gravity, i.e., where a train would be able to negotiate a curve without derailing. Besides, the Korean railways are also said to have increased safety standards and better signalling equipment & rolling stocks.

A relative latecomer in Asia for the high-speed railway market, South Korea is now ranked fourth in the world in terms of technologies, after France, Germany and Japan. It may be noted that in respect of rolling stock, Korea already has significant presence in India, with most of the metro lines in Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad enlisting services of M/s Hyundai Rotem. The RDSO is already working in coordination with Japan and under a pact worked out in 2015, the Japan Railway Technical Research Institute is to cooperate in the areas of safety in train operation, advanced techniques of maintenance and use of environment friendly technologies in India.

On the overall investment from Korea, Mr Doraiswami stated that USD 3.5 billion have come in couple of years. He also pointed towards the scale in which that has come. The automobile manufacturing South Korean major, KIA Motors, is coming up with an unit and a township at Anantpur in Andhra Pradesh wherein 3 lakh cars would be made each year starting from 2019. It is predicted that by the time its full capacity is installed, India would be the fourth-largest market for production for the motor group. Among other companies, Samsung, which launched its new unit in Noida on Monday, will bring out at least 10 million smart phones every month from Indian hub.

Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi and Korean President Mr Moon Jae-in participated at the talks that pledged to enhance bilateral trade to USD 50 billion a year by 2030, up from USD 20 billion now. In this regard, Mr Doraiswami stated that India was looking at the significant expansion of production capacity in automobiles, electronics and also new sectors that includes textiles, food processing and chemicals.

Moreover, India and Korea also exchanged a Joint Statement on Tuesday on the Early Harvest Package of the Upgraded Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). This pact has three chapters, namely Goods, Services and Investment. The Indian envoy to South Korea further mentioned that under this agreement, eleven main commodity goods would be covered, thus opening new avenues and opportunities for India to increase exports in areas which were of particular interests for India. He mentioned that there will be boost in exports of Agri commodities and marine products, as the Korean markets were being explored.