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Top Japanese firms coming to India: PM

'I found a new enthusiasm among (Japan's) captains of industry that I had never seen before', says Manmohan.

india Updated: Dec 17, 2006 00:16 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said, there was unprecedented enthusiasm in Japan about India's growing economy and top firms are readying to pump fresh investment into Asia's second fastest growing economy.

"I found a new enthusiasm among (Japan's) captains of industry that I had never seen before," the prime minister told reporters on his way back from a four-day visit to Tokyo.

"So I feel for the first time the synergy involving both governments and the Japanese industry is most favourable as far as investing and trading with India is concerned," Manmohan Singh said while referring to the comments of top Japanese business leaders at a business luncheon in Tokyo on Friday.

Manmohan Singh also spoke about a radical change in the perception of India and the potential of its economy as the two countries launch a comprehensive economic partnership agreement next year that will also be pivotal in creating an Asian economic community.

"They recognise that a new India is in the making, that an economy that is growing at the rate of 8 per cent per annum has the ambition to grow at nine to 10 percent per annum offers new opportunities," he said.

As a sign of new confidence in doing business with India, top Japanese companies like Suzuki, Toshiba and Nomura Securities are planning to pump fresh FDI (foreign direct investment) in India.

They now plan to put in the same amount of FDI they invested in India in the last 15 years- $2 billion - in the next 15 months, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath said while underlining new complementarities between Indian and Japanese companies.

"Nomura Securities will put $10 billion in India in the next one year," an upbeat Kamal Nath said.

Alluding to the rail freight corridor linking Delhi-Mumbai and Mumbai-Kolkata, the prime minister said the Japanese side had prepared a feasibility study and the project, expected to cost nearly $5 billion, will take off in a year's time. "It should be off, I think, in a year's time," he added.

Manmohan Singh also said that arrangements for financing of phase II of Delhi Metro, built with Japanese assistance, are being worked out and the Japanese investment in the project will be given preferential treatment.

"The normal rule is that we go by competitive bidding, but the Japanese industry's competitiveness is well- known. And there is every possibility that a sizable chunk of orders will go to Japan on merit," he said.