So far, Korean companies have invested $2.6 billion in India. Some of them, like LG, Samsung and Hyundai, have achieved tremendous success in India.
Over two dozen captains of leading Korean companies, representing a combined turnover of over $200 billion, spent a busy couple of days in the country scouting for investment opportunities. They are accompanying South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun, who is on a state visit to India.
However, there seems to be a shift in the trend of investments, with Korean companies increasingly preferring the infrastructure sector over consumer electronics and automobiles where they were big investors in the past.
"The big change since 1999, when the last business delegation came from South Korea, is that this time they are looking at infrastructure projects like power, roads, ports and shipping and not at consumer electronics and automobiles alone," a source closely associated with the process of facilitating visits of overseas businessmen told Business Standard.
The delegation included core sector heavyweights like Posco President and chief executive officer Chang Oh Kang, Hanjin president and CEO Jong Hee Lee, Ssangyong Engineering & Construction chairman and CEO Seok Joon Kim, Dealim vice-chairman
The sources added that these companies had said India would be the largest recipient of South Korean investment after China.
"Some South Korean companies told us that India was their new destination as they had met with heavy losses in China," Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry president YK Modi said.
Korean chaebols LG and Samsung too were present in the team. While Samsung Electronics was represented by its president and CEO, Gee Sung Choi, LG had sent two heavyweights, LG Corp chairman and CEO Bon Moo Koo and LG Electronics vice-chairman Ssang-su Kim. LG Corp holds stakes in LG Chemicals, LG Electronics and LG Telecom.
The South Korean president also visited the LG factory in Greater Noida near Delhi. "The LG plant was the only Korean manufacturing facility Hyun visited during his two-day visit to India," a LG release said.