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Kamal Nath urges Japanese SMEs to invest in India

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Underscores fast growth in manufacturing sectors

(FROM RIGHT) The Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Mr Kamal Nath; the FICCI President, Mr S.K. Poddar; and the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman, Mr Nobuo Yamaguchi, at the India-Japan Economic Partnership meet in the Capital on Monday. Kamal Narang
(FROM RIGHT) The Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Mr Kamal Nath; the FICCI President, Mr S.K. Poddar; and the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman, Mr Nobuo Yamaguchi, at the India-Japan Economic Partnership meet in the Capital on Monday. Kamal Narang

Our Bureau

"Sectors such as infrastructure, power, manufacturing, banking and financial services, insurance and real estate are some of the key areas wherein lie immense investment opportunities."

New Delhi, Sept. 25

The Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Mr Kamal Nath, outlined an array of sectors in which Japanese businesses can invest and make profit, while inaugurating the `India-Japan Economic Partnership Meet', organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) here on Monday.

"India is experiencing a boom in telephony. Almost 5 million new consumers are added every month in India. Sectors such as infrastructure, power, manufacturing, banking and financial services, insurance, real estate and construction, retail, tourism and oil and gas exploration are some of the key areas wherein lie immense investment opportunities," Mr Nath said.

Manufacturing sectors

He underscored the double-digit growth being witnessed in manufacturing sectors such as auto components and automobiles, drugs and pharmaceuticals amongst others and urged the Japanese small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to set up incubation facilities in India to tap the real potential. Mr Nath added, "I suggest that the Japanese corporates should look towards BPO, KPO and EPO operations in India to reduce their cost and enhance their global competitiveness."

WTO issues

On the issue of WTO, the Minister said India favoured a rule-based multilateral system and that market access meant market access of products and not of subsidies. Mr Nath said that while India would take steps forward in this direction, integration with global economy did not mean de-industrialisation.

Opinion exchanges

Meanwhile, Mr Nobuo Yamaguchi, Chairman, Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said at this time, it would be difficult for the great majority of SMEs to make independent advances in India.

He said, "to help surmount this hurdle, we hope to engage in opinion exchanges on the concepts of developing industrial parks with reliable infrastructures, supplying valuable information to SMEs and other initiatives capable of improving the investment climate."

Expressing concern on WTO issues, Mr Yamaguchi said, "If the Doha Round is allowed to stalemate in this way, there are very real fears that support and understanding for the very system of free trade will be weakened, with the global economy receding into protectionism."

Modi invitation

The Gujarat Chief Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, also invited the Japanese delegates to set up exclusive special economic zones on the 1,600 km long coastline of the State that provides good destinations for investments. Mr Modi said, "Gujarat, a small State, has become a very strong growth engine of the nation's economy."

Pointing out that Japan was not new to the State, Mr Modi said that about 44 projects with technical collaboration from Japan were under implementation, out of which six had already been commissioned.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 26, 2006)
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