“I see Japan as an indispensable partner in India’s continuing transformation”: PM Modi

Prime Minister Modi, who is in Japan on a two-day visit to attend a summit of the Quad leaders at the invitation of his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida, ahead of his bilateral meeting on Monday, May 23rd, 2022 said that he sees Japan as an “indispensable partner” in India’s continuing transformation, asserting that New Delhi’s speed and scale combined with ease of doing business, attractive incentives, bold reforms, and ambitious plans create unmatched opportunities for Japanese businesses.

In an op-ed penned by the PM on the vibrant relations between India and Japan titled, ‘India-Japan: A Partnership for Peace, Stability, and Prosperity’, he highlights India’s journey of building a strong foundation for the manufacturing sector, services, agriculture, and digital technology infrastructure.

For Japan, India’s speed and scale combined with ease of doing business, attractive incentives, bold reforms, and ambitious plans create unmatched opportunities, he added.

“We have also fostered a dynamic startup ecosystem in India, with over 100 unicorns. The Japanese capital is already playing an important role in this effort. And there is potential for a great deal more,” the Prime Minister said.

Japan is regarded as a key partner in India’s economic transformation.

India-Japan transforming ties

In recent years the relationship between the two nations has transformed to become a partnership of great substance and purpose. India has been a nation of interest for Japan due to a variety of reasons including India’s large and growing market and its resources, especially the human resources.

Japan is among India’s most important partners, said Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra, at a media briefing on Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Japan, in New Delhi on Saturday. 

“Modi has referred to the India-Japan relationship as being one of the most natural in the region. In the last few years, the India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership have seen great momentum. The meeting (between Modi and Kishida) will be an opportunity to carry forward the high-level engagement between the two countries, as also to advance bilateral cooperation agenda,” he had said.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, India-Japan bilateral trade in FY 2018-19 totalled USD 17.63 billion, with exports from Japan to India standing at USD 12.77 billion and imports at USD 4.86 billion.

“The bilateral trade between India and Japan for FY 2019-20 (April – December) totalled USD 11.87 billion. India’s exports from Japan amounted to USD 3.94 billion while India’s imports from Japan amounted to USD 7.93 billion,” the ministry said. 

India’s primary exports to Japan have been petroleum products, chemicals, elements, compounds, non-metallic mineral ware, fish and fish preparations, metalliferous ores and scrap, clothing and accessories, iron and steel products, and textile yarn, fabrics, and machinery among others.

India’s primary imports from Japan are machinery, electrical machinery, iron and steel products, plastic materials, non-ferrous metals, parts of motor vehicles, organic chemicals, and manufacturers of metals among others.

PM meets Japanese business tycoons

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday in his meeting with Nobuhiro Endo, the head of Japanese multinational information technology electronic giant NEC Corporation, “highlighted India’s reform trajectory and talked about opportunities in areas such as digital learning, FinTech, infra, and logistics networks,” PMO India tweeted.

The Prime Minister appreciated NEC’s role in India’s telecommunication sector, especially in undertaking Chennai-Andaman & Nicobar Islands (CANI) and Kochi-Lakshadweep Islands (KLI) OFC projects, MEA said in a statement. He also highlighted investment opportunities under Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme

The PM also met the CEO of the Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo to discuss investment opportunities for the retailer in textile manufacturing in India.

“Boosting India’s textile sector. PM @narendramodi met CEO of Fast Retailing, the parent company of @UNIQLO_JP, Tadashi Yanai,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted. 

“Discussed Uniqlo’s growing presence in India and investment opportunities for textile manufacturing in India under PLI scheme.” While Yanai appreciated the entrepreneurial zeal of the people of India, Modi asked him “to take part in the PM-Mitra scheme aimed at further strengthening the textiles sector,” PMO India tweeted.

The PM Mega Integrated Textile Regions and Apparel (PM MITRA) Parks Scheme is aimed at developing textile parks through a special purpose vehicle owned by the central and state government and in a public-private partnership (PPP) model.

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