Japan must regain the ground it has lost to South Korea and China vis-a vis trade and investment in India, Manmohan Singh said at a gathering of Indian and Japanese business leaders on Friday.
As India and Japan set the stage to cement their strategic partnership with an enhanced commercial relationship, Singh urged business leaders to amend their outlook towards India. "I urge you to weigh the initial problems of entry against long-term profitability and stability of doing business in India," Singh said.
He assured that India is committed to improving infrastructure, simplifying taxation regime, reducing tariffs and eliminating red tape. Thanking Japan for having helped India during the 1991 economic crisis and for its generous Official Development Assistance (ODA), of which India is now the largest recipient, the prime minister cited India’s vast market, sustained rate of growth at eight per cent and status as an open democracy and an open economy as reasons why Japanese business must focus on India.
He said Japan must partner India’s efforts to create world class infrastructure, saying India needs $500 bn investment over the next five years, $320 bn of this for infrastructure alone. "We happily welcome foreign investment and seek to promote public-private partnership," he said.
Singh urged Japan to make the most of the investment opportunities in India’s labour-intensive as well as knowledge-based industries, including biotechnology, nano-technology and Information Technology, automobiles and aerospace, textiles, leather and marine products.
He urged Japan to exploit India’s IT advantage the way the US and EU have. Singh stressed the fact that India wanted to make its growth inclusive in terms of equity and environmental sustainability.