Pitching for greater Japanese investment and clean energy tie-ups, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has underlined his commitment to second-generation economic reforms and unveiled a decision to set up a special Japan plus team in his office to take economic ties to a new level.
Tokyo rolled out the red carpet to welcome Mr Modi before he sat down for talks with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Modi, who landed in Kyoto on August 31 for his five-day visit to Japan, was given an official reception at the Akasaka Palace in Tokyo, where a guard of honour was presented to the Indian leader.
Before the ceremonial welcome, Modi addressed a delegation of top Japanese business leaders, where he made a robust pitch for enhanced commercial ties between India and Japan, driven by cutting edge technology and a skilled workforce.
“I have decided to create a special Japan plus management team in the PMO (prime minister’s office), which will be absolutely dedicated to facilitate Japan. As a result, facilities will increase,” Modi said, to ringing applause from business titans of Japan and India.
He also addressed Japan’s concerns about delays and indecisions regarding environment clearances in India. He promised that, like in Gujarat under his leadership, New Delhi will accommodate the needs of Japanese businesses with single-window clearances, and non-discriminatory speedy decision making.
“Japan is known for quality of its products and India’s huge untapped young population can contribute to its workforce requirement,” Mr Modi said at a business lunch at Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry on September 1.
Urging business leader from Japan and India to take the lead, he added that they could give direction to the world economy.
He acknowledged that sound business practices needs an enabling environment and the state too needs to step up to the challenge. “We know that businessmen need a good environment to grow and this is our responsibility. The state has to be policy driven. We have given importance to good governance and to processes. We are looking at how to integrate technology with governance,” said Modi
The opportunities for enhanced commercial ties were endless, added the business- friendly prime minister, especially as governments in India and Japan have a stable mandate after a long time.
Modi alluded to his government’s investment friendly reform agenda, including raising FDI in defence and railways.
“See the work done in 100 days of my government. Earlier, the GDP used to hover around 5-5.4 per cent and led to an environment of disappointment…But in the first quarter of our government, there has been a growth of 5.7 per cent. It is a big jump. Now there is renewed hope,” said Modi.
New Delhi has been courting Japanese investments for its ambitious clean energy and infrastructural developments plans, which include establishing 100 smart cities across the country.
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