It has been found that India is currently implementing the largest number of trade regulations against South Korea in the world.
The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) announced on June 5 that the Indian government was implementing or looking to implement a total of 32 import restrictions on products imported from South Korea as of early last month. The number was 24 when it comes to import restrictions imposed on the same products by the U.S. government.
Last year, India’s trade deficit with South Korea amounted to US$7.3 billion. Exports from India to South Korea significantly dropped after the implementation of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the two countries in 2010. Specifically, the amount dropped from US$7.9 billion to US$4.2 billion between 2011 and 2015. Under the circumstances, the Indian government has postponed the biennial CEPA meeting several times while strengthening restrictions on products from South Korea.
In the meantime, the South Korean government is considering India as one of its top-priority markets. “In order to cope with trade protectionism and reduce our economic dependence on China, we need to concentrate on the ASEAN region and India,” South Korean President Moon Jae-in mentioned during his campaign period. More recently, on May 11, he talked with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi by phone, saying that bilateral trade and investment can be expanded through improvement of the CEPA.