India’s commerce minister Anand Sharma has stressed the need to increase the bilateral trade to $25 billion by 2014 from the current $14 billion.
Speaking to a visiting Japanese delegation, he said, “The year 2011 is a watershed year in our relations as we signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) during my visit to Japan in February. The signing of CEPA has begun a whole new chapter in our economic partnership, unlocking the true potential of trade between our two countries. I am hopeful that CEPA will further deepen economic engagement in terms of Trade in Goods, Services, and Investment; contributing immensely to mutual prosperity.”
Japan is an invaluable and strategic partner in the process of India’s development. India-Japan has to play major role in the globally changing economic landscape, he added. Citing the CEPA, he said the bilateral trade is likely to increase substantially and expressed hope that the target of $25 billion by 2014 will be achieved. The bilateral trade between India and Japan during the year 2009-10 was of the volume of $10.36 billion. The bilateral trade during the year 2010-11 reached $13.82 billion.
On the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, the Commerce Minister said, “The Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor envisages investment of $100 billion and we have now decisively moved from the stage of planning and design to the stage of implementation.” On Oct. 24, the National Manufacturing Policy was unveiled and seven industrial townships have been identified as the first National Investment and Manufacturing Zones based on models of sustainable development and smart communities, which has been perfected in Japan. The Japanese government is committing $4.5 billion for implementation of the project.
Seeking more investments in infrastructure, Sharma said, “Over the next couple of decades, we will see massive expansion in Indian infrastructure. In the coming 5 years itself, we have targeted to invest over a trillion dollars in creating capacities of infrastructure which will further catalyze India’s economic growth.”
India has a structured energy dialogue with Japan and has made rapid strides in the renewable energy sector, he noted. “In the field of agro-processing, we aim to double our food processing capabilities in the next 5 years and the establishment of 64 fully equipped Agro Processing Zones and Food Parks provides an area of immense opportunities. This is a segment where Japan can be an able partner to develop cross sectoral linkages in the entire value addition chain from agriculture to retail, packaging and logistics,” the Minister said.
The Minister said India’s pharmaceutical sector is acquiring a global leadership position and Indian generics today constitute nearly a fifth of global supplies. “Our pharmaceutical companies can be of immense value in providing affordable healthcare which is much needed in a country of Japan’s demographic profile,” the minister said referring to Ranbaxy’s recent triumph to introduce generic drugs in the US market. Ranbaxy is currently a Japanese joint venture.