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S Korea team eyes trade via monk route

A Korean monk has paved the way for possible investment ties between South Korea and Bihar.

A delegation of South Korea’s provincial government of Gyeongsangbuk-do on Wednesday met senior government officials and expressed their willingness to develop a partnership between Bihar and South Korea in the field of investments, trade and commerce, tourism, academics and culture.

Naveen Verma, the principal secretary of industries department, said: “The idea is to revive the Silk Road Project of Korea. Hyecho, a Buddhist monk from Korea, had undertaken a journey through what is known as the Silk Road. He travelled to many countries, including India and visited Bodhgaya, Rajgir and Nalanda. Bihar is one of the most important centres of the Silk Road as it is situated in the middle of the monk’s route. Therefore, the delegation has come with the idea to revive the Silk Road by promoting industries, commerce and tourism.”

The 11-member delegation was headed by Nam iL Kim, the chief secretary of the Silk Road Project.

“The project team, which consists of officials of Gyeongsangbuk-do government, businessmen, industrialists, professors and others, will visit Bihar in October to conduct cultural programmes and sign an agreement between the governments in many sectors. In a bid to promote tourism along the state’s Buddhist Circuit, our government desires to construct Korea Silk Road monument and the Hyecho Monument in Bihar. The location could be in Patna or in Bodhgaya and a lot of Korean tourists will be attracted through it giving a boost to the tourism sector of the state,” Kim said.

The state government said they were ready to extend all possible help to make the project a success.