Japan moving forward in tandem with GoI to strengthen India’s manufacturing sector: Ambassador Satoshi Suzuki

Japan moving forward in tandem with GoI to strengthen India’s manufacturing sector: Ambassador Satoshi Suzuki

Satoshi Suzuki, Ambassador of Japan to India today said that the Japan-India Global Partnership has culminated in the ‘Special Strategic and Global Partnership’. The convergence between Japan and India is greater than ever and cooperation is expanding in various areas encompassing the political, economic, and cultural spheres.

Addressing the 5th Dialogue with States: Japan’s Connect with Karnataka titled ‘Catalyzing Inclusive Socio-Economic Development’, organized by FICCI Forum of Parliamentarians jointly with the Embassy of Japan, Suzuki said that the Japanese government is moving forward in tandem with the Government of India to strengthen India’s manufacturing sector. “We expect this to help India get better integrated into the regional value chains and to play an even more important role in the global economy. I would like to mention that JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) is implementing the Program for Strengthening Overseas Supply Chains,” he said.

Regarding the Japan-Karnataka connect, the Ambassador noted that 217 Japanese companies are operating in Karnataka in IT and Japanese start-ups, such as Sagri, an agri-tech venture, and other venture capital firms are supported by the Japan-India Start-up Hub. In addition, trading companies, such as Sojitz and Mitsui, have opened their branches so that they can closely collaborate with those start-ups.

Japanese companies like Panasonic and Sony have set up R&D bases in the state to capitalize on the talent of Indian youths. “We will continue to cooperate with various parties to promote Japanese companies’ operations there. In addition to these exchanges in IT and tourism sectors, I hope that people-to-people exchanges will be promoted by utilizing the ‘Specified Skilled Worker’ scheme,” he added.

Ms Akiko Sugita, Consul-General of Japan in Bengaluru mentioned that Karnataka is the largest R&D hub of India with the presence of large number of global manufacturing companies. She noted that Japan is ranked the fifth largest investor for FDI for Karnataka from 2014-19 and investment in the state grew 5.4 times from USD 1.3 bn in 2016 to USD 7.2 bn in 2019. The focus sectors being IT, Healthcare and Wellness between Japan and Karnataka.

The aim of the dialogue was to enhance economic cooperation between Karnataka and Japan and to focus on start-up ecosystem, capacity building, art and culture, tourism and people to people ties of Japan’s existing and potential connect with Karnataka.

The discussion also witnessed the presence of Members of Parliament across party lines from Karnataka who shared their views on leveraging the potential of Karnataka in enhancing socio-economic and cultural development and encouraging collaboration on various sectors with Japan.

Dr Ashwathnarayan CN, Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka remarked that Japan is one of the largest investors for India. The state of Karnataka offers a suitable investment climate for the Japanese manufacturers both in the long and medium term.

Mr Bhupender Yadav, Chair, FICCI Forum of Parliamentarians and Member of Parliament; National General Secretary BJP noted that India and Japan have played a pivotal role in overcoming challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. He talked about India’s stance on Atmanirbharta and said that the countries have sought to utilise their combined strengths for diversified and resilient supply chains through the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative between India, Japan, Australia and other like-minded countries.

“Indo- Japanese connect is spread on a larger canvas which includes political, economic, trade and security aspects. The sister state and sister city cooperation have strengthened the connect of Indian states with Japan,” Mr Yadav added.

Mr Gaurav Gupta, Additional Chief Secretary, Commerce and Industry Department, Government of Karnataka remarked that Karnataka provides innovation and technology with highly skilled workforce and good air connectivity. He talked about the Japan Industrial Township in Tumakuru which has been set up 70 kms from Bangalore with built in infrastructure. He talked about sector specific policies and noted that 25 per cent of capital investment and subsidy on land and infrastructure have been invested by private companies.

Shri GC Chandrashekhar, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha remarked about the need for technical assistance to Clean Ganga project.

Dr Umesh G. Jadhav, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha emphasized on the industrial development in the state and noted that it provides a suitable investment climate to Japanese companies.

Dr L. Hanumanthaiah, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha noted that language and literature need to be promoted between Japan and India especially the promotion of Japanese language.

Dr Syed Naseer Hussain, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha opined that Karnataka will be open for investment and socio-cultural understanding and spiritual connect with Japan.

Prof Rajeev Gowda, Former Member of Parliament and Chairman, Congress Research Department stressed upon the importance of R&D ventures with Japan as well as on infrastructural investments.

Mr KC Ramamurthy, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha noted that Karnataka has immense potential in the tourism sector due to the presence of heritage sites and monuments, which can become a potential sector for cooperation.

Dr Jyotsna Suri, Past President, FICCI; Co- Chair FICCI Forum of Parliamentarians Council and CMD Bharat Hotels noted that the Dialogue with States is a track II collaborative exercise organised in partnership with the Embassy of Japan to deepen the engagement to include Indian states, the Indian heartland.

K Ullas Kamath, Chair, FICCI Karnataka State Council; Joint Managing Director, Jyothy Laboratories Ltd talked about the sectoral potential of Karnataka and its single- window set up for investors and ease of doing business. He welcomed Japanese investments to Karnataka and noted that the state would make every effort to enhance cooperation to attract FDI from Japanese companies.

Regarding the Japan-Karnataka connect, the Ambassador noted that 217 Japanese companies are operating in Karnataka in IT and Japanese startups, such as Sagri, an agri-tech venture, and other venture capital firms are supported by the Japan-India Start-up Hub.

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