Com Min Nirmala Sithraman visits Tokyo to attract investment
The Dollar Business Bureau
Nirmala Sitharaman, in her address to a gathering of 250 delegates at the India Investment Seminar in Tokyo, invited Japanese investors with open arms to invest in India. The event was organised by Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO). Driving away focus from export gains achieved by currency depreciation, she said that infrastructure would be a key driver of exports for India.
With the rampant promotion of the 'Make in India' campaign, the Centre hopes to increase the share of manufacturing in India's GDP to 25% by 2025. The GDP itself is forecasted to reach $20 trillion in Purchasing Power Parity terms.
The Commerce Minister spoke extensively about initiation of multiple reforms by the government to boost investment in the manufacturing sector. She also appreciated the contribution of Japanese corporations in India's growth story.
NDA's flagship development programs were emphasised in Sitharaman's speech, including the Jan Dhan Scheme, under which about 26 crore bank accounts were opened in the wake of demonetisation. The Digital India initiative proposes to lay 250 thousand km of optical fibre by 2018, which will enhance rural connectivity and boost economic growth. The National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) also found a mention as the prime financer of infrastructure projects in India.
Alongside prominent business magnates, the Minister also held a meeting with Japan's Minister for Trade Economy and Industry (METI), Hiroshige Seko. During this bilateral meet, issues ranging from Japanese Industrial Townships to the concerns raised by Indian pharma giants operating in Japan were discussed at length.
Japanese business leaders from varied industries like healthcare, technology, energy and automotive also met the Minister to explore investment opportunities.
The demographic dividend, while unfavourable to the future growth prospects of many developed and developing economies, is in India's favour. It is predicted that India's population would have an average age of 29 years by 2025.
Ramesh Abhishek, DIPP Secretary, also highlighted India's investment potential. Clean energy, electric cars and medical innovation were the key areas, said to present great future investment potential.
Japan, which hitherto concentrated in the automobile sector of the Indian economy, expressed interest in diversification of investment into other areas. Japan is regarded as the third largest in terms of FDI equity inflows to India. At over $25 billion, Japan accounted for 8% of India's total FDI equity inflows during the first 9 months of FY2016-17.