The Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Kamal Nath, and his Japanese counterpart, Akira Amari, signed a MoU on Wednesday to upgrade the existing Japan-India Policy Dialogue (JIPD) from the official to the ministerial level. The first JIPD meeting will be held in New Delhi in the near future.
The ministers also reached an understanding regarding the development of an industrial corridor along the Delhi-Mumbai multi-modal freight corridor. A task force under the Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion and the Vice-Minister of the Japanese Ministry of Economics, Trade and Industry (METI) has been assigned the task of developing the concept.
The industrial corridor will provide supporting infrastructure including power facilities and rail connectivity to ports. It will also see the development of ports on the west coast of India. The corridor is expected to attract investment in industrial estates and clusters, especially from Japan.
The two ministers also held discussions on wide-ranging issues aimed at significantly increasing trade and investment between the two countries, as also taking forward the stalled WTO talks. They decided that the negotiating group on a bilateral Economic Partnership Agreement would meet soon to look into trade in goods and services, investment and intellectual property rights.
The ministers' meeting took place on the sidelines of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's tour of Japan, which is aimed at significantly boosting economic and strategic partnership between the two countries.