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New Delhi, Dec. 18

The CII would enter into dialogue with SMRJ, the Japanese organisation for Small and Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation and Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) to promote bilateral trade.

"Small and Medium Enterprises are ignoring India, they keep referring to infrastructural problem and red tapism," said Mr R. Seshasayee, President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), stating that although the image of India as an investment destination had grown considerably, concerns of inadequate infrastructure and labour practices remained.

However, said the CII President, Japanese banks were looking to expanding and strengthen their books with Indian assets.

Potential partners

The CII, which reopened its Tokyo office recently, would not only identify sectors, roadblocks in its study but also suggest potential partners for Japanese businesses. Mr Seshasayee pointed out that the top 40 per cent of Japanese companies had stayed away from India. The challenge, he said, was to draw the leaders of the Japanese economy into India, if we wanted to see a robust growth in Indo-Japan bilateral trade.

According to Mr Seshasayee, Japanese SMEs had shown particular interest in the food-processing sector.

The CII would be submitting its proposal for an Indo-Japan dedicated fund to the Prime Minister soon, which was proposed during his visit there. The fund would be co-owned by both the Governments and established to support industrial investment.

"Traditionally the Japanese take their time to make up their minds, but we should expect robust, and even a torrent of investment from them between 2008 and 2010," said Mr Seshasayee.

According to Mr Seshasayee, the Mumbai-Delhi corridor could attract Japanese infrastructure in the form of industrial townships, or large clusters.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 19, 2006)
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