Japanese business delegation meets Indian industrialists in Mumbai

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Mumbai, Aug 8 (UNI) A business delegation from Japan, headed by Yasuhisa Shiozaki, a senior Diet member, met with Indian industrialists here today to study Indo-Japanese relationship.

Addressing a gathering at the Indian Merchants' Chamber (IMC), Mr Shiozaki said ''Though bilateral trade between India and Japan had grown to USD 10 billion, Japanese business houses are still cautious regarding investments in India due to lack of infrastructure, active labour unions and lawsuits. Moreover, they have a comfortable domestic market.'' Comparing Japanese investments in China and India, he said while only 555 Japanese companies are operating in India, there are more than 32,000 Japanese companies in China.

Lack of information and geographical factors, like China's closeness to Japan, have also played a part in the difference in investments, he said.

''But the Free Trade Agreement between the two countries, to be finalized by year-end, should give Japanese some confidence. At the same time, Japanese business also need to take more risks and open opportunities for both,'' he said.

Mr Shiozaki said Japanese investors should expand their portfolios to India, where the stock exchanges like the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) was better run than the Nikkei, and Japanese companies would be willing to help India in building of infrastructure.

The other areas where both countries could strenghten their partnership are food price hike, fighting terrorism, power and energy and climate change.

Mr Shiozaki said India and Japan have responsibilities in bringing stability in the region and beyond, and are being watched by the world to prove their partnership. Synergy between Japanese technology and Indian goods and exchange of technology in reduction of global warming and efficient sources of energy are areas that could be pursued, he added.

Also present at the discussion was former Union power minister and MP Suresh Prabhu, who said ''Japan is a classic case of sustainable economic growth. We can learn a lot from them in our endevour to becoming an economic power.'' UNI ZC SSS SKB1954

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