New Delhi (NVI): The convergence between Japan and India is greater than ever and cooperation is expanding in various areas encompassing the political, economic, and cultural spheres, with special focus on manufacturing sector at present, Japanese envoy to India Satoshi Suzuki said today.
Addressing the 5th Dialogue with States: Japan’s Connect with Karnataka titled ‘Catalyzing Inclusive Socio-Economic Development’, organized by FICCI Forum of Parliamentarians jointly with the Embassy of Japan, Suzuki said that the Japanese government is moving forward in tandem with the Government of India to strengthen India’s manufacturing sector.
“We expect this to help India get better integrated into the regional value chains and to play an even more important role in the global economy. I would like to mention that JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) is implementing the Program for Strengthening Overseas Supply Chains,” he said.
Regarding the Japan-Karnataka connect, the Ambassador noted that 217 Japanese companies are operating in Karnataka in IT and Japanese start-ups, such as Sagri, an agri-tech venture, and other venture capital firms are supported by the Japan-India Start-up Hub. In addition, trading companies, such as Sojitz and Mitsui, have opened their branches so that they can closely collaborate with those start-ups, the FICCI said in a statement.
Japanese companies like Panasonic and Sony have set up R&D bases in the state to capitalize on the talent of Indian youths. “We will continue to cooperate with various parties to promote Japanese companies’ operations there. In addition to these exchanges in IT and tourism sectors, I hope that people-to-people exchanges will be promoted by utilizing the ‘Specified Skilled Worker’ scheme,” he added.
Akiko Sugita, Consul-General of Japan in Bengaluru mentioned that Karnataka is the largest R&D hub of India with the presence of large number of global manufacturing companies. She noted that Japan is ranked the fifth largest investor for FDI for Karnataka from 2014-19 and investment in the state grew 5.4 times from USD 1.3 bn in 2016 to USD 7.2 bn in 2019. The focus sectors being IT, Healthcare and Wellness between Japan and Karnataka.
The aim of the dialogue was to enhance economic cooperation between Karnataka and Japan and to focus on start-up ecosystem, capacity building, art and culture, tourism and people to people ties of Japan’s existing and potential connect with Karnataka.
The discussion also witnessed the presence of Members of Parliament across party lines from Karnataka who shared their views on leveraging the potential of Karnataka in enhancing socio-economic and cultural development and encouraging collaboration on various sectors with Japan.