PM invites Japan to invest in India infrastructure, says Delhi to spend a trillion dollars

Monday, October 25, 2010

TOKYO - Addressing top business honchos from India and Japan at a luncheon meeting here on Monday, visiting Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan singh, said India envisages fianancial outlays of over a trillion US dollars on fixing infrsatructure in the next five-year-plan.

“Infratsructure deficit is the major constraint on our development,” Dr. Singh said.

Inviting Japanese companies to invest in India’s infrastructure sector, Dr. Singh said: “We need to close the infrastructure deficit, especially in the power and transport and communication sector.”

He also asked Japanese companies to engage in greenfield infrastructure projects.

Monday’s luncheon meeting was hosted by Nippon Keidanren. Delegates from the Japan Chamber of commerce and industry, the Japan-India Business Cooperation Committee and the India-Japan Business Leaders Forum also attended the meeting.

From India, Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani; Bharti CMD Sunil Bharti Mittal; Fortis Chairman Malvinder Singh and HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh were among those present at the business meet.

The Prime Minister also appreciated Japan ’s role in providing the largest Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) to india since 2003, its assistance in building the Delhi Metro, which were followed by metro projects in Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai, the dedicated Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project, which covers over 1480-kilometres and is spread across six states.

Dr.Singh called for synergising India’s buoyont economy,young population,large market with Japan’s technological prowess, manufacturing skills and financial resources.

He noted that India-Japan trade and investment had witnessed a steady expansion in recent years with commerce making a “robust rebound” in 2010, and this was expected to exceed 20 billion dollars by 2012.

“However, it is still at a low threshold, apart from being unbalanced,” he said.

Dr. Singh said that Japanese FDI in India has grown substantially in the last three years, because of mergers and acquisitions.

“We welcome greater Japanese involvement in (Indian) industry, but I hope this will go beyond mergers and acquisitions to see Japanese foreign direct investment creating new capacity in India’s manufacturing sector. We also hope Japanese investment will engage in greenfield infrastructure projects as well,” he said.

In the next 20 years, 40 per cent of India’s population is expected to be in urban areas, which will pose a greater challenge of meeting the requirements in terms of services like transportation and water supply. Japan has “unique capabilities” in this area and can join India in urban development, Dr. Singh said.

Following the luncheon meeting, Dr. Singh proceeded for a meeting with his Japanese counterpart Naoto Kan. Both leaders are expected to discuss a wide range of issues of bilateral, regional and multilateral importance to both countries. By Naveen Kapoor (ANI)

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