Manmohan Singh invites Japanese companies to join India's growth story

New Delhi, Oct.24 (ANI): While projecting India as a growing and vibrant market, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Sunday invited Japanese companies to be part of India's ambitious development plans, with a promise of improving the investment climate for foreign investors.

Ahead of his meeting with Japanese business leaders in Tokyo later in the day on Monday, Dr. Singh during his interaction with a select group of Japanese journalists in New Delhi said: "Today, India offers a growing and vibrant market, young work force, and an attractive destination for foreign investors," he said in New Delhi while inviting the Japanese companies to step up their investments.

Dr. Singh said a number of steps had been taken to simplify the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) regime and the government has started stakeholder consultations on opening up additional sectors to greater inflow of FDI.

"Our government places the highest importance on improving the investment climate for foreign investors in India. We recognise the multiplier effects of improving infrastructure on the growth of Indian economy," Dr. Singh stated.

He said the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), negotiations for which have been concluded, would boost the bilateral trade and economic ties manifold.

"It is heartening that India is now recognised as the best long-term investment destination by Japanese companies. We welcome Japanese investments in India," said the Prime Minister adding, "I would encourage Japanese investors to come to India and become part of our ambitious development plans."

He said new policies were enabling public-private partnership in the development of critical infrastructure like roads, ports, airports and power. "In recent years, the policy framework relating to investment, taxation, foreign trade, finance, capital markets and regulatory systems has evolved to make Indian industry more productive and globally competitive," Dr. Singh said, adding "As a result, India's share in the global flows of goods and services has grown steadily."

Dr. Singh while talking about Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) norms, said all regulations and guidelines have been consolidated into one comprehensive document, which is reviewed every six months.

In a reference to the Dedicated Freight Corridor Project as well as the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project, being built with Japanese assistance, the Prime Minister stated these would open up vast opportunities for Japanese businesses for mutually beneficial cooperation.

Dr. Singh told the Japanese journalists that India was in the midst of a major socio-economic transformation.

He noted that Indian economy has grown at an average annual rate of over nine per cent in the last few years, managing sustained growth despite the global economic slowdown.

Underlining the Indian government's commitment to economic reforms as the "principal instrument of economic transformation and inclusive growth," the Prime Minister said, "there is an increasing appreciation that calibrated and sustained change is better than abrupt about turns". (ANI)

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