India seeks Japan’s nuclear help, but would not force the issue: Manmohan Singh

Monday, October 25, 2010

TOKYO - Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said that India seeks Japan’s help for expansion of its nuclear energy potential, but would not force Tokyo on the issue as it recognises the sensitivity of the subject.

Dr. Singh, who is in Tokyo on a three-day visit, said that with the India’s rapid economic growth, the demand for energy has been rising. Hence, Japan as a global leader in energy efficient technologies can play a significant role in helping India to meet the energy requirements.

“That we would hope that Japan would be India’s partner in expanding our nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. But I do recognise the sensitivity of this subject in Japan, and I wouldn’t therefore force the issue,” Dr. Singh said at a business luncheon hosted by Nippon Keidanren, an economic organisation.

He also said that cooperation in this area would enable Japanese companies to participate in India’s ambitious nuclear energy programme.

Dr. Singh also mentioned that in the next 20 years 40 percent of India’s population would be living in urban areas, so it would face problems of urban management.

“India’s investment needs and infrastructure in the next 5 years will be at least 1 trillion dollars, and part of investment will come from within but we expect Japanese investors to provide a substantial of the support for this infrastructure development plan,” said Dr. Singh.

Dr. Singh also said that the first priority is to convert the nuclear agreement into a legally binding document and both the governments will work in the next few months to give it a proper legal shape and secure appropriate approvals both at the level of government and of their parliament if and when needed.

He also welcomed Japanese participation in Indian industry through Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and seeks to increase capacity of Indian manufacturing and infrastructure sectors and freer flow of high-end technologies.

“I am happy to note that Japanese Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India has grown substantially in the last three years. Much of this has been due to mergers and acquisitions. We welcome greater Japanese participation in Indian industry through Foreign Direct Investment. We seek the creation of new capacity in India’s manufacturing and infrastructure sectors,” said Dr. Singh.

He also noted that number of Japanese companies with an established business presence in India has over doubled in the past four years.

The Prime Minister also said that the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with Japan is ready to be concluded.

“I have long believed that India and Japan must work together to create a business environment conducive to much greater two-way trade and investment flows. It was with this perspective that we launched negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement almost four years ago.

I am happy to share with you that our efforts have finally succeeded and a mutually beneficial agreement is ready to be concluded,” said Dr. Singh.

The Prime Minister is expected to hold bilateral talks with his Japanese counterpart Naoto Kan. The Prime Minister would also meet political leaders, parliamentarians and captains of Japanese trade and industry. By Naveen Kapoor(ANI)

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