TOKYO: Kindling the India growth story anew on a wet and rainy day in the Japanese capital, Prime Minister Narendra Modi underlined the centrality of India-Japan relations in Asia’s emergence and pitched for more enhanced investments from Asia’s second largest economy.
The conference hall at Keidanren, the seat of Japan’s all-powerful corporate body, was buzzing with energy and enthusiasm as Mr Modi addressed a galaxy of top Japanese leaders and highlighted a set of steps taken by his government which have made India the world’s most attractive investment destination.
“Today, India is on the path of several major transformations. We have taken decisive steps and built a governance system that will help India realize its potential. The results are already visible,” Mr Modi said.
“Even against a weak international economic scenario, the news from India is of strong growth and abundant opportunities. It is of Incredible opportunities, and about India’s Credible Policies.”
Mr Modi highlighted major advantages of India, including lower labour costs, large domestic market and macro-economic stability which have combined to make India “a very attractive investment destination.”
“Today, every global company has an India strategy. And, Japanese companies are no exception. It is no surprise that today Japan is India’s fourth largest source of FDI,” he said as he outlined possibilities of blending Japan’s hardware with India’s software.
Pitching for a greater influx of Japanese investments in India, Mr Modi assured the movers and shakers of Japan’s corporate world that his government “will be proactive in addressing your concerns” and “further refine our policies and procedures to boost Make in India.”
“Creating an enabling environment for business and attracting investments remains my top priority. Stable, predictable and transparent regulations are redefining the nature of doing business in India,” said Mr Modi.
The narrative of India has changed in Japan after the Modi government undertook a host of path-breaking reforms and initiatives that included the passing of the Goods and Sales Tax, the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code and easing of foreign investment in crucial sectors like defence and insurance.
Upscaling Japanese investment into India will be a major theme of discussions between Mr Modi and Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe.
Alluding to futuristic infrastructure projects of second generation like the Dedicated Freight Corridor, the Industrial Corridors, High Speed Railways, Smart Cities, Coastal Zones and Metro Rail projects, Mr Modi underscored that all of these “offer unprecedented opportunities for Japanese industry.” “Made in India and Made by Japan combination has already started to work and converge wonderfully,” he said.
Skill, scale & speed
Placing the burgeoning India-Japan relations in a broader perspective, Mr Modi said India and Japan are critical to the realization of an Asian Century and underlined the pivotal role of Tokyo in India’s ongoing project of transformation with skill, scale and speed.
“I have long maintained that India needs scale, speed and skill. Japan has a very important role to play in all three.”
“India and Japan will have to continue to play a major role in Asia’s emergence. The growing convergence of views between Japan and India under our Special Strategic and Global Partnership has the capacity to drive the regional economy and development, and stimulate the global growth,” said the Indian leader. “Strong India–Strong Japan will not only enrich our two nations. It will also be a stabilising factor in Asia and the world,” he said.
- Manish Chand is Founder-CEO and Editor-in-Chief of India Writes Network (www.indiawrites.org) and India and World, a pioneering magazine focused on international affairs. He is CEO/Director of TGII Media Private Limited, an India-based media, publishing, research and consultancy company.
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