Jaitley in Japan, to woo investors to India

Tokyo, May 30 (IANS) Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Monday that he is due to meet a large number of Japanese investors during his ongoing visit to the country with the aim of attracting investments to India.

“We already have over a thousand Japanese companies which have invested in India. (Japanese) Prime Minister (Shinzo) Abe seeks to double it and therefore, I would be meeting individually as well as collectively a large number of investors,” Jaitley told reporters here.

“The whole idea is to take the India story forward with them,” he said after attending the The Future of Asia conference here.

Jaitley arrived here on Sunday on a six-day tour to Japan. Later on Sunday, he met SoftBank Group chief executive Masayoshi Son, whose company has already made investments in India worth around $2 billion in the last two years.

“There are people who want to participate in infrastructure growth story. For example, at the SoftBank meeting we just had, they are looking at one of the biggest investments in solar power already.

“They (Softbank) have made considerable headway and have identified the location. It will probably be one of the largest investment in those areas,” he said after the meeting.

On Monday, Jaitley said: “I think similarly there are other Japanese investors who are open to the idea of having individual projects.

“We are open to the idea of them joining the India Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF) and this Indian flexibility provides them with more than one opportunity.”

To a question whether Japanese investors have identified any project, he said that many of them had done so.

“For instance, SoftBank itself in Andhra Pradesh has identified the solar power project and there are many others who have identified and are talking and looking beyond solar power now,” he said.

A delegation of CEOs led by industry chamber Ficci president Harshavardhan Neotia, which is accompanying Jaitley, visited the Japanese parliament on Monday and met MPs belonging to the Japan India Parliamentary Friendship League, Ficci said in a statement.

“Various potential areas of collaboration and partnership between the two countries came up during the discussion.

“Besides the on-going high level collaboration projects such as Bullet Train, it was proposed to extend the co-operation in other mega infrastructure projects,” a statement said.

Jaitley is scheduled to meet Suzuki Motor chairman Osamu Suzuki on Tuesday. He is also slated to meet Abe and other Japanese government officials.

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