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50 Years of Bilateral ties (India-Qatar and India-South Korea)

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Bilateral Relations


Source: PIB, IE

 Direction: We had already covered India-Qatar ties, here we have presented the basic facts in tabular format and added new points


Context: The year 2023 marks 50 years (ties established in 1973) of the establishment of full diplomatic relations between India and Qatar as well as India-South Korea


Mnemonics: You may remember areas of Cooperation using the keyword: PEDCAP – Political, Economic, Defence, Cultural, Arts and People

Area of CooperationIndia-Qatar StatusExamples
Political RelationsStrong and friendly·         Regular high-level visits, Joint Commission Meetings
Economic & CommercialStrong trade ties·         Qatar’s key exports to India include LNG, LPG, chemicals and petrochemicals, fertilisers, plastics, and aluminium articles,

·         India’s key exports to Qatar include cereals, copper articles, iron and steel articles, vegetables, fruits

·         In 2021, India was among the top four largest export destinations for Qatar and is also among the top three sources of Qatar’s imports 

·         India-Qatar Start-up bridge is a joint initiative to link the start-up ecosystems of two countries

EnergyMajor energy partner·         Qatar is one of the largest suppliers of LNG to India, Investment by Qatar in the Indian energy sector
Defence & SecurityDefence cooperation·         Joint military exercises: Za’ir-Al-Bahr (Roar of Sea) is a naval exercise between the Indian and Qatar Navy

·         Defence equipment procurement

·         Maritime relations: Interaction between Indian Ports and Qatari Ports

Cultural ExchangesVibrant cultural exchanges·         Cultural festivals showcasing Indian and Qatari arts and heritage, Exchange programs for artists and intellectuals
People-to-People TiesThe significant Indian ex-pat community in Qatar·         Large Indian community in Qatar (over 8 lakh), and close ties between the two countries through expatriates

·         Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) sent Covid medical relief material to India

·         14 Indian schools in Qatar are offering CBSE curricula


India-South Korea Ties: Bilateral consular relations were established in 1962 & upgraded to diplomatic ties (Ambassador-level) in 1973.

  • On this occasion, a walking pilgrimage (by a group of 108 Buddhist monks from South Korea) will begin from Sarnath in Varanasi and culminate at Shravasti after traversing through Nepal to mark 50 years of India-South Korea diplomatic ties and trace the path Lord Budhha followed.


Area of CooperationIndia-South Korea StatusExamples
Political RelationsStrong and friendly·         Regular high-level visits: E.g. 2+2 dialogue

·         Joint Commission Meetings: by coordinating India’s ‘Act East Policy’ with South Korea’s ‘New Southern Policy

·         Strategic Partnership (Strategic Partnership in 2010 which was upgraded to ‘special strategic partnership’ in 2015 and defence cooperation)

Economic & CommercialGrowing trade ties·         2022 bilateral trade: over USD 27 bn (Target is to reach USD 50 bn by 2030)

·         India-South Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) (2010)

·         ‘Korea Plus’ initiative to promote and facilitate Korean Investments in India such as joint ventures in electronics, automobiles and shipbuilding

EnergyGrowing energy cooperation·         Civil Nuclear energy Cooperation (2011)
Defence & SecurityDefence cooperation·         Joint military exercises, Defence equipment procurement
Cultural ExchangesVibrant cultural exchanges·         Buddhist Connection

·         “SamgukYusa” text (13th CE) says that  a Princess from Ayodhya married a Korean Prince and became Queen Hur(Heo) Hwang-ok in 48 AD

·         Cultural festivals showcasing Indian and Korean arts and heritage

People-to-People TiesGrowing ·         The significant Korean ex-pat community in India, Growing Indian community in South Korea


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Mains Links:

India’s old ties are being reinvigorated in West Asia in recent times. Comment. What is its impact on India? (10M)