Japan an ‘indispensable partner’ in India’s continuing transformation: PM Modi

PM discusses opportunities in digital learning, FinTech, infra and logistics network with head of Japanese IT giant NEC Corporation.

May 23, 2022 12:44 pm | Updated 01:18 pm IST - Tokyo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi being greeted by Indian diaspora in Tokyo on Monday, May 23, 2022.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi being greeted by Indian diaspora in Tokyo on Monday, May 23, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

Ahead of a bilateral meeting with his Japanese counterpart, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, May 23, 2022, said that he sees Japan as an “indispensable partner” in India’s continuing transformation, asserting that New Delhi’s speed and scale combined with ease of doing business, attractive incentives, bold reforms and ambitious plans create unmatched opportunities for Japanese businesses.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chairman of NEC Corporation Nobuhiro Endo during a meeting in Tokyo on May 23, 2022.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chairman of NEC Corporation Nobuhiro Endo during a meeting in Tokyo on May 23, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

Prime Minister Modi, who is in Japan on a two-day visit to attend a summit of the Quad leaders at the invitation of his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida, penned an op-ed on the vibrant relations between India and Japan in the Yomiuri Shimbun.

Mr. Modi will have a bilateral meeting with Mr. Kishida on Tuesday, their second meeting in two months.

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In the article titled ‘India-Japan: A Partnership for Peace, Stability and Prosperity’, he said that in the last few years, India has embarked on a journey to build a strong foundation for the manufacturing sector, services, agriculture and digital technology infrastructure.

Bullet train project

“I see Japan as an indispensable partner in India’s continuing transformation,” Modi said.

For Japan, India’s speed and scale combined with ease of doing business, attractive incentives, bold reforms and ambitious plans create unmatched opportunities, he said.

“We have also fostered a dynamic startup ecosystem in India, with over 100 unicorns. Japanese capital is already playing an important role in this effort. And there is potential for a great deal more,” according to Mr. Modi.

India and Japan have collaborations in a number of developmental projects, including the Indian government’s ambitious Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project.

“The iconic Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail project symbolises Japan's extensive collaboration in some of the most important endeavours to build a New India,” Prime Minister Modi said.

The 508.17-km long network will pass through three districts in Maharashtra (Mumbai, Thane, and Palghar) and eight districts in Gujarat (Valsad, Navsari, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Kheda, and Ahmedabad).

The total cost of the project is pegged at ₹ 1.08 lakh crore and as per the shareholding pattern, the Government of India is to pay ₹10,000 crore to the National High Speed Rail Corporation, while the two states involved, Gujarat and Maharashtra, are to pay ₹5,000 crore each. The rest is to be paid by Japan through a loan at 0.1 per cent interest.

Japan is regarded as a key partner in India’s economic transformation.

Strengthening ties

In the recent past, the India Japan relationship has transformed to a partnership of great substance and purpose. Japan's interest in India is increasing due to a variety of reasons including India's large and growing market and its resources, especially the human resources.

In New Delhi on Saturday, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra, at a media briefing on Prime Minister Modi's visit to Japan, said that Japan is among India’s most important partners.

“Modi has referred to the India-Japan relationship as being one of the most natural in the region. In the last few years, the India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership have seen great momentum.

"The meeting (between Modi and Kishida) will be an opportunity to carry forward the high-level engagement between the two countries, as also to advance bilateral cooperation agenda," he had said.

Japan’s bilateral trade with India totalled USD 17.63 billion in FY 2018-19. Exports from Japan to India during this period were USD 12.77 billion and imports were USD 4.86 billion, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.

“The bilateral trade between India and Japan for FY 2019-20 (April – December) totalled to USD 11.87 billion. India’s exports from Japan amounted to USD 3.94 billion while India’s import from Japan amounted to USD 7.93 billion,” it said.

India’s primary exports to Japan have been petroleum products, chemicals, elements, compounds, non-metallic mineral ware, fish and fish preparations, metalliferous ores and scrap, clothing and accessories, iron and steel products, textile yarn, fabrics and machinery among others.

India’s primary imports from Japan are machinery, electrical machinery, iron and steel products, plastic materials, non-ferrous metals, parts of motor vehicles, organic chemicals, manufactures of metals among others.

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida paid a two-day visit to India from March 19 to hold the 14th India-Japan summit with his Indian counterpart Modi.

PM meets heads of top tech giants

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday met Nobuhiro Endo, the head of Japanese multinational information technology electronic giant NEC Corporation.

Mr. Modi “highlighted India’s reform trajectory. He talked about opportunities in areas such as digital learning, FinTech, infra and logistics networks,” PMO India tweeted.

The Prime Minister appreciated NEC’s role in India’s telecommunication sector, especially in undertaking Chennai-Andaman & Nicobar Islands (CANI) and Kochi-Lakshadweep Islands (KLI) OFC projects, MEA said in a statement. He also highlighted investment opportunities under Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme

Investments in textile manufacturing

Mr. Modi also met the CEO of Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo to discuss investment opportunities for the retailer in textile manufacturing in India.

“Boosting India’s textile sector. PM @narendramodi met CEO of Fast Retailing, the parent company of @UNIQLO_JP, Tadashi Yanai,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted. “Discussed Uniqlo’s growing presence in India and investment opportunities for textile manufacturing in India under PLI scheme.” While Yanai appreciated the entrepreneurial zeal of the people of India, Modi asked him “to take part in the PM-Mitra scheme aimed at further strengthening the textiles sector,” PMO India tweeted.

The PM Mega Integrated Textile Regions and Apparel (PM MITRA) Parks Scheme is aimed at developing textile parks through a special purpose vehicle owned by the central and state government and in a public-private partnership (PPP) model.

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