Economy

Japan's help sought to build 46 agro-processing zones

Arun S New Delhi | Updated on December 28, 2011 Published on December 28, 2011

India-JapanBusiness Forum

India on Wednesday sought Japanese investments and expertise in infrastructure, electronic hardware and agriculture-related sectors, especially in the setting up of 46 agro-processing zones in the country.

Speaking at a luncheon meeting in the presence of the visiting Japanese Prime Minister Mr Yoshihiko Noda, the Commerce, Industry and Textiles Minister Mr Anand Sharma said, “We are focusing on agriculture, agro-processing and food-processing to build an entire integrated value chain. We will be developing 46 fully-equipped agro-processing zones or parks (in India). This is one area where Japanese technology, knowledge and experience could be of much help.”

Pointing out that the projected investment in India’s infrastructure sector (including ports, airports and power projects) in the coming Five Year Plan (2013-17) is over $1 trillion, he said it will be another area of opportunity for Japanese companies.

India also needs Japanese partnership in electronic hardware, Mr Sharma said. “Though India is a leader in IT and ITeS, it is in electronic hardware where India is going to invest. That is an ambition as we accelerate our efforts in (boosting) manufacturing. We request Japan to be a partner in achieving this,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Noda said both the countries are strengthening their ties including on issues of economic, political, security and regional cooperation.

Speaking at the luncheon meeting organised by Indian industry bodies CII, Ficci and Assocham, Mr Noda said India and Japan should capitalise on mutual complementarities, adding that the bilateral Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement will enhance the trade and investment relationship between the nations. He pointed out that around 420 Japanese companies located in India have helped generate more than 1.5 lakh jobs in India. Mr Noda is accompanied by a team of top officials from leading Japanese companies such as Mitsubishi, Hitachi, Sumitomo Chemical, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Daiichi Sankyo, Toshiba, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and NYK Line.

Mr Sharma said the current global economic uncertainty has made it imperative for India and Japan to work closely together for mutual benefit and to address the global challenges.

He said both the countries are “very much on course” to achieve the bilateral trade target of $25 billion by 2014. Mr Sharma added that the Japanese government has committed $4.5 billion for the implementation of the $90 billion Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project. Japanese companies have decided to invest in six smart cities coming up along the DMIC, he said, adding that the Centre had earlier decided to allocate Rs 18,500 crore for financing the DMIC’s trunk infrastructure.

Japan also has another huge opportunity in the recently announced National Manufacturing Policy which envisages encouragement of green technologies and to bring up integrated industrial townships for high-end manufacturing, Mr Sharma said. He wanted Indian healthcare and pharma industry, especially the generics sector, to access the Japanese market.

arun.s@thehindu.co.in

Published on December 28, 2011
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