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India, Japan to sign currency swap pact soon

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STEPPING UP INVESTMENTS: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (centre), with Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath (left), and FICCI President Habib Khorakiwala, during a joint business meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday.
STEPPING UP INVESTMENTS: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (centre), with Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath (left), and FICCI President Habib Khorakiwala, during a joint business meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Staff Reporter

Abe reiterates commitment to assist infrastructure projects

NEW DELHI: Visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday called for stronger economic ties between India and Japan to triple bilateral trade to $20 billion in the next three years. He not only pledged more loans to India for infrastructure development but also promised more investments from Japanese companies.

Addressing a business meeting jointly organised by Indian chambers, Mr. Abe said India and Japan would soon sign a bilateral agreement on currency swap that will add to a regional network of such accords designed to provide emergency financial liquidity to either or both parties in times of currency market or other turbulence. “A basic agreement has been reached on bilateral currency swap in response to short-term liquidity crunch,” he added.

Reiterating his government’s commitment to assist India in infrastructure development, particularly the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Kolkata dedicated freight corridors and Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), Mr. Abe said: “Japan has been providing funds to India for infrastructure development through ODA (official development assistance). India is the largest receiver of yen loans and this will continue in future also. Delhi Metro is a shining example of it (project completed through ODA), while the forthcoming DMIC project will prove beneficial for both India and Japan.”

Stating that strong Indo-Japan ties were not only important for peace and prosperity of India and Japan but also for the entire region, he said: “The bilateral relationship has embarked on new dimensions since Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Japan. In the last three years, bilateral trade has doubled while investments have quadrupled. The visit of 100-member strong Japanese delegation to India shows the high-level of interest evinced by Japanese investors in India. Promoting bilateral relations between the private sectors of the two sides was one of our main goals.”

Speaking on the occasion, Union Commerce and Industry Minister, Kamal Nath, said the DMIC project would transform India’s economic landscape and strengthen the business bonds between the two countries. Stating that the industrial corridor was $90 billion investment opportunity, he urged the Japanese business leaders to inspire small and ancillary companies to look towards India. “It will also act as a platform for increased Japanese engagement in the neighbourhood and beyond,” he added.

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