News Column

Modi makes strong casefor Japanese investments

September 1, 2014

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Monday made a strong pitch for Japanese investment in India announcing the setting up of a special desk in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) only to facilitate Japanese investment. Modi also shared his vision for a changing world order. "That 21st century is Asia's century no doubt. But how will it pan out, given there are two 'vistaarvadi' (expansionist) streams and the 'vikasvadi' (progressive) steam," he said. Without naming China, Prime Minister Modi hit out at the expansionist forces that violate land and sea borders and insisted India and Japan should together lead the forces of progress. Delivering the keynote address at a business luncheon hosted by Nippon Keidanren, Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Modi asked Japanese investors go by their experience of dealing with his government in Gujarat and see the turnaround of the economy in the past 100 days. "Ease of governance and single window clearance are my priorities," he said. He asked the Japanese to name two representatives of their choice to be on board the India-Japan investment team for facilitation of investment. Reassuring the audience in Tokyo, the prime minister said things had changed in the past three months since he took oath of office. "In the past 10 years, we faced problems. But in the first quarter itself growth jumped to 5.7 per cent as against 4.5 per cent. That mood of depression has gone," Modi insisted. He gave details of how Japanese projects pending with the last governmentólike the opening of additional branches of the Mizuho Bank and the real earth projectówere immediately cleared by his government. "Being a Gujarati, commerce is in my blood. Money is in my blood. Businessmen do not want concessions. They want a conducive environment and ease of governance," he added. Modi listed areas of seeking Japanese cooperation, especially in the energy sector. "A country with a population of 125 crore, clean energy is our biggest requirement. We respect nature and need Japan's cooperation for clean energy," he said. Giving details of how his government had changed the rules of the game, he said they permitted 100 per cent FDI in railways, 49 per cent in defence, 100 per cent in infrastructure and promised to change laws and rules for ease of governance. "India is the youngest country in the world. Sixty-five per cent of our population is under 30 and we need to initiate a drive to map skill requirements in the world and develop those skills to be able to meet the global work force demand by 2020," he explained.

Without naming China, Modi hit out at the expansionist forces that violate borders and insisted India and Japan together lead the forces of progress

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Source: Mail Today (India)

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