Focussed inter-ministerial group to address Japanese investors’ issues: Piyush Goyal

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New Delhi: Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said that a focussed group of key officials will resolve Japanese investors’ concerns on logistics, customs clearance, export procedures and quality issues as more than 200 investment plans of Japanese companies in India, including factory construction and production line expansion, are stuck.

“The red carpet (for investors) can’t be rolled out by Invest India alone. A focussed group will meet 50 companies from Japan in four separate sessions, 25 of which are already operating in the country and 25 potential investors,” Goyal said at a virtual Exclusive Investment Forum organised by Invest India.

His statement came in the wake of Japan’s Minister for Economy, Trade & Industry (METI), Hiroshi Kajiyama saying that Japanese companies have more than 200 “exciting investment plans in India” but many of them are being delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Thus, in order for Japanese companies to select India as an investment destination, it is very important to provide an attractive business environment…and METI will continue to cooperate in strengthening India’s industrial base,” Kajiyama said.

Stating that Japan is great at hardware production and India is great at software production, Kajiyama added that India is rich in top digital talent, while Japan seeks such talent.

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The proposed focus group will have officials from ministries of commerce and industry, finance, railways, and roads and surface transport. Other ministries such as agriculture and animal husbandry would be roped in on the basis the specific concerns of the investors were.

At the same event, Goyal insisted on balancing India’s trade with Japan as he cited pressure on India from other countries to reduce its trade surplus with them.

The two sides have formed an industrial competitive partnership as part of which a fast track system to resolve Japanese companies’ issues here would be setup.

Kajiyama said that progress is being made under the partnership.

“One of the problems with payment delays which has remained an issue for years is now moving slowly towards a resolution,” he said, adding that India’s export volume of agriculture products such as spices and soybeans, whose customs clearance was stagnant due to the lockdown, is recovering.

At the same event, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) secretary Guruprasad Mohapatra said that India’s single window system, a one-stop shop for all industrial clearances will come up by April 2021.





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