Indian Prime Minister Modi's maiden trip to South Korea as is scheduled for May 18-19, after his visit to China and Mongolia.
From all the available sources in the public domain, it is becoming more and more clear our Prime Minister’s visit to Seoul will focus on economic and business promotion. If advance visits of Indian official to Seoul in recent weeks are any indication Strategic and security issues are not expected to get much attention and mostly likely put on the back burner.
It is hoped that the Prime Minister's May tour to these three countries might attract as much as $10 billion in financial assistance for his pet projects: Smart Cities, Digital India and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
South Korea has shown significant interest in these projects. Advance teams are currently negotiating terms and conditions for the infrastructure development package, which will be funded by South Korea's Export Import Bank. Sources have indicated that most of the assistance would be provided on a long-term basis at reasonable interest rates.
South Koreans have also shown great interest in his “Make in India” campaign. Indian delagates are said to be persuading big South Korean businesses to invest in India, and the Indian government is hinting that more infrastructure sectors could be covered following the bilateral negotiations to make the deal more attractive to South Koreans.
The Prime Minister is especially interested in developing closer ties with the shipbuilding industry, in particular those companies open to building ships in India. Knowing well that South Korea is a world leader in LNG transportation vessels, he has been encouraging India's private as well as state-run players to develop relations with Korea’s top shipbuilders such as Hyundai Heavy Industries, Daewoo, Samsung, STX, Hanjin, Sundong and Hyundai Samho; and looking into the possibility of making a ship in India for LNG imports. If a deal comes through this might be seen as one of the concrete outcomes of the visit.