PM lures Japanese investors to India’s development plans

Tokyo, Oct 24 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on a three-day visit to Japan, has pushed for greater Japanese investment in India’s ‘ambitious development plans’, citing his country’s growing market, its young work force and an evolving policy framework.

‘In recent years, the policy framework relating to investment, taxation, foreign trade, finance, capital markets and regulatory systems has evolved to make Indian industry more productive and globally competitive… Today, India offers a growing and vibrant market, young work force, and an attractive destination for foreign investors,’ Manmohan Singh told Japanese journalists in New Delhi before departing for Tokyo.

The prime minister, who landed here Sunday evening, said Japan was a ‘major economic partner of India and the economic and technological powerhouse of the world’.

Strengthening the bilateral economic partnership, he said, was central to the India-Japan Strategic and Global Partnership established in 2006.

His government, the prime minister added, placed the highest importance on improving the investment climate for foreign investors and was upgrading infrastructure for which the Japanese government is extending valuable assistance through ODA.

‘Japanese companies are partnering with India to build Metro rail services in several cities. The Dedicated Freight Corridor Project as well as the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project will open up vast opportunities for Japanese businesses for mutually beneficial cooperation. I would encourage Japanese investors to come to India and become part of our ambitious development plans.’

Referring to nuclear energy – the two countries are negotiating an Agreement on the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy – the prime minister said: ‘Our nuclear industry is poised for a major expansion and there will be huge opportunities for the global nuclear industry to participate in the expansion of India’s nuclear energy programme. We would like Japan to be our partner in this initiative.’

Answering a question on Japan’s condition that it would annul the nuclear cooperation if India went in for another test, the prime minister said India’s position on the NPT was well-known.

‘India has an impeccable non-proliferation record which has been recognised by the international community. We are committed to maintaining our unilateral and voluntary moratorium on nuclear explosive testing,’ he said, adding that India was ready to work with Japan and other like minded countries in realising the vision of a nuclear weapon free world.

(Minu Jain can be contacted at minu.jain@ians.in)

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