On November 8, 2017, Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon participated in the opening ceremony of the Seoul-India Economic Exchange Center in Delhi, India. This was the first time that the Mayor of Seoul made an official visit to Southwest Asia. Mayor Park said that “the City of Seoul will act as the bridge that supports the market entry and investment attraction in India of promising Korean startups and small- and medium-sized businesses in cooperation with the Center.”
The Seoul-India Economic Exchange Center is a platform that helps Korean and Indian startup companies enter each other’s’ countries. Since the signing of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement in 2010 many Korean conglomerates have moved into India and established local corporations in various parts of the country while small- and medium-sized businesses and startups were not given as much opportunity to do so.
Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon, in his congratulatory speech at the opening ceremony said, “Now startups and small- and medium-sized businesses will also be given an opportunity to do business in India. Following the opening of a platform organization in India to support the market entry of Korean startups in India and that of Indian startups in Korea, the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) will take various follow-up measures in cooperation with the economic exchange center.”
The Seoul Metropolitan Government had earlier designated India as one of its new target investment countries and organized an investment consulting event between the Indian economic mission and enterprises in Seoul, Korea in September 2016 in order to lay the foundation for Korean small- and medium-sized businesses and startup companies entering the Indian market.
Seoul Mayor Park also hosted the Seoul-India Friendship Festival at the Gurgaon Cyber Hub Arena in the city of Gurugram in Haryana State, India between November 8 and 9 to meet with the people of India. It was the first time Seoul’s culture, tourism and city brand were introduced in India, an unexplored exchange area for Korea. Mayor Park made a surprise appearance on stage of the Nanta performance and performed with the crew.