India, Japan to synergise socio-economic development-linked energies at Tokyo summit

New Delhi, Aug.11: Ushering in a new era of bilateral ties, India and Japan are synergising their energies towards socio-economic development - not within their own territories, but in Asia and across the world.

On August 1, 2011, India and Japan executed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), aiming to provide greater access to each other's markets and almost double the bilateral trade from 12.6 billion USD to 25 billion USD by 2014.

The agreement came into existence when both countries signed the CEPA on February 16 in Tokyo and exchanged diplomatic notes on June 30.

The Indian business fraternity believes the deal would allow India to use Japanese investments, technology and management practices more effectively and efficiently.

"Japan is extremely important to Indian industry. It is important for technology, it is important for raising funds, it is important for making the business connections, it is important for providing global avenues for our products and for jointly working together to create more markets for Indian companies. I am very much looking forward to the expanding of both the trade and investment between Japan and India," said Rajesh Shah, co-chairman and managing director of Mukund Ltd.

Indo-Japan bilateral ties will gain further momentum when industry leaders, policy makers, academicians, researchers and young leaders meet with their global partners at the India-Japan Global Partnership Summit in Tokyo between September 5 and 7.

Organised by the India Center Foundation to mark the 10 years of the announcement of India Japan Global Partnership Agreement, the Summit will allow B2B strategic ventures, alliances and partnerships to create a new socio-economic framework.

The summit will include an India-Japan Expo and five concurrent forums, including business, academic, policy, youth and cultural forums of non-governmental initiatives.

Among those confirming full support at the occasion were Yoshiro Mori, Shinzo Abe and Yukio Hatoyama, former Prime Ministers of Japan.

Japan's innovations and technological know-how and India's abundant manpower with strong scientific, technical knowledge will form an alliance that could transform challenges into opportunities.

"If our wisdom and our challenges, our execution powers and energies come together, why want to limit to only small platform like India or a small platform like Japan. World is ours. We can go to every country and just see if they like our idea. If they like, they will subscribe - If they subscribe we can always ask them - we can empower you somehow," said Akitaka Saiki, Japan's Ambassador to India.

India, a developing country with a rapidly growing economy, has a lot to gain from key ally Japan, the world's third largest economy.

In agriculture, infrastructure building, auto manufacturing and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) - there are huge opportunities for both India and Japan to work together.

In an annual survey conducted in mid 2010 by the Japan Bank for International Corporation, India, for the first time, topped the list as the most attractive investment destination, overtaking China.

The survey showed that 74.9 per cent of 605 Japanese companies preferred India as their investment destination over the next 10 years.

"In my own field, which is telecom, IT, software, computers, Japan has done extremely well in the last 30-35 years. I believe there are many areas like this where India could benefit from Japan and Japan can also benefit from India," said Vibhav Kant Upadhyay, founder and director-general of IJGPS, and chairman of the India Center.

India is interested in getting access to Japanese hi-tech in several sectors, especially in the dual-use field.

Japan is looking at India's growing market, acquisitions in the IT and banking sectors, build mega infrastructure projects and establish small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Japanese SMEs in diverse sectors like electronic component, logistics, and education are seriously considering long-term investments in India, particularly in Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) belt, a mega infrastructure project of $90 billion with the financial and technical aid from Japan.

A large number of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) participating in the Tokyo Summit would be the biggest recipient of the outcome of the event.

The India-Japan Global Partnership Summit in Tokyo will now be the focus of attention where India-Japan bilateral ties are expected to start on a new course. By Ravi Khandelwal

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