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CECA with Japan by December

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FROM CHHINDWARA TO TOKYO: Union Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath (centre), showing dress material, a product from his constituency Chhindwara (Madhya Pradesh), to Toshihiro Nikai (left), Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, and Osamu Watanabe, Chairman and CEO, JETRO, at the India-Japan Business Summit in Tokyo on Wednesday. PHOTO: PTI
FROM CHHINDWARA TO TOKYO: Union Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath (centre), showing dress material, a product from his constituency Chhindwara (Madhya Pradesh), to Toshihiro Nikai (left), Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, and Osamu Watanabe, Chairman and CEO, JETRO, at the India-Japan Business Summit in Tokyo on Wednesday. PHOTO: PTI

Will envisage doubling bilateral trade to $10 b in 3 years and expand trade basket

The foucs areas will be pharma and manufacturing sectorsEnough windows available for Japanese corporates

TOKYO: The Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement between India Japan which envisages doubling bilateral trade to $10 billion in three years by expanding the trade basket will be ready by this year, India's Commerce and Industry Minister, said here on Wendesday.

"I am happy to notice the substantial progress made in preparing a roadmap for CECA as per the recommendations of our joint study group,'' Mr. Kamal Nath said at the concluding function of the India-Japan Business Summit here.

He said the agreement would be ready by this year-end and the focus areas for enhanced bilateral cooperation would be pharmaceuticals and manufacturing.

The Minister invited Japanese small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to tap the business opportunities in India.

"We appreciate the Japanese assistance for developing the rail freight corridor between Mumbai and Delhi and Delhi and Kolkata as also their contribution in building the metro in Delhi. This is in keeping with the trend of Japanese investments catalysing transformation of Indian industrial sectors,'' Mr. Kamal Nath said.

"In India, Japan is synonymous with quality and dedication to work. I want the Japanese SMEs to note the conducive climate created in India for them by their predecessors,'' Mr. Kamal Nath said.

"If we look into the statistics of trade and investments between both countries, they do not do justice to the real potential. We need to work towards widening our trade basket,'' he said, adding, "we should not wait for finalisation of CECA.'' There are enough windows available and Japanese corporates should look towards BPO, KPO and EPO operations in India to reduce their cost and enhance their global competitiveness, he said.

Mentioning the demographic advantage of India with a young, energetic and skilled population as compared to Japan, Mr. Kamal Nath said it would be a "win-win situation for both countries to merge the synergies of Japan's technology and innovation with India's young and skilled workforce.''

"Japan is undoubtedly at the cutting edge of information and communication technology. India is also experiencing a boom in telephony. Almost, five million new consumers are added every month in India. "Additionally, major national programmes for e-governance and rural telephony have created unprecedented business potential for manufacturing as well as related services,'' he said, urging Japanese corporates to work with their Indian counterparts to quickly capture these opportunities.

With investment opportunities worth $500 billion likely to emerge in India in the next five years, Mr. Kamal Nath asked Tokyo to review its strategy for the sub-continent nation to tap the massive potential.

Citing the estimates of the Investment Commission, he said of the $500 billion worth opportunities to be created in the next five years in major economic sectors, the infrastructure sector alone had the potential to absorb $250 billion.


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