Invest India Exclusive Investment Forum held online between India and Japan

August 2020

On August 6, with the aim of facilitating investment into India by Japanese companies, JETRO jointly held " Invest India Exclusive Investment Forum" online with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan (METI); the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of India; and Invest India (a trade promotion organization under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of India).

In the opening session, presentations were delivered by KAJIYAMA Hiroshi, Minister of METI; TANAKA Shigehiro, Vice Minister of METI; and SASAKI Nobuhiko, Chairman and CEO of JETRO, from the Japanese side, and Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways and Commerce and Industry; Guruprasad Mohapatra, Secretary of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT); and Deepak Bagla, CEO of Invest India, from the Indian side. They shared visions of both countries toward expanding investment into India by Japanese companies with 435 people from Japanese companies and the Indian government. High ranking officials from five ministries and departments of India (the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Ministry of Textiles, Department of Heavy Industries, Department of Pharmaceuticals, and Ministry of Food Processing) also participated in the forum and individually explained investment opportunities in each field.

Ministers from both countries deliver messages toward promoting business between India and Japan

Making a call for Japanese companies to invest in India, Minister Goyal stated that Japan is a reliable and important trade partner for the country and that India has been improving and utilizing industrial parks, reducing logistics costs and facilitating licensing procedures in order to promote the business of Japanese companies. Minister Kajiyama presented on the fact that Japan and India have already built cooperative relations in various fields under the trusting relationship between Prime Ministers Abe and Modi. With the demand for digital transformation in fields such as IoT, education and healthcare triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, he emphasized that collaboration through utilizing the strengths of both countries could be expected.

India as an export hub

Chairman Sasaki explained the potential of India as an export hub and issues that Japanese companies have been facing in doing business in India. The current situation is such that, thanks to the size of the population and strong domestic demand, numerous companies have entered India aiming to seize domestic demand, while their export ratio is lower than that of Japanese companies in China and ASEAN. In the meantime, given India's engineering potential, human resource potential, cost competitiveness and geographical positioning, growing India into an export hub that forms a part global supply chains is the key to the country’s future economic development. However, many Japanese companies aiming to expand exports from India claim the deficiency of logistics infrastructure is a major obstacle. In addition, Japanese companies operating in India have long been plagued by issues such as complicated tax processing, labor laws that protect workers and ambiguous government office correspondence and procedures. From these facts, JETRO Chairman Sasaki delivered a strong message toward the Indian government, saying, "Without overcoming challenges, the number of Japanese companies entering India will not dramatically increase. We respectfully but strongly urge the Indian government to use this timing to work on these issues in a dynamic manner."

Commerce Minister Goyal presents his future action plan on the spot

In response to these issues raised by the Japanese side, Minister Goyal gave remarks again at the end of the opening session. He laid out a path toward concrete action by gathering representatives from ministries and agencies concerned with roads and taxes on the spot and immediately instructing them to establish a cross-ministerial working group to solve the problems Japanese companies are facing and to listen to the opinions of Japanese companies already present in India or considering doing business in the country.

Minister of Railways and Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal

Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry KAJIYAMA Hiroshi

Presentation by JETRO Chairman and CEO SASAKI Nobuhiko

Outline of Invest India Exclusive Forum

Date and time Thursday, August 6, 2020 14:00-16:00 JST
Venue Online
Organizers JETRO, METI, Ministry of Commerce and Industry of India, Invest India
Participants 435 people
Opening session
Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways and Commerce and Industry
KAJIYAMA Hiroshi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)
Guruprasad Mohapatra, Secretary, DPIIT
TANAKA Shigehiro, Vice Minister, METI
Deepak Bagla, MD & CEO, Invest India
SASAKI Nobuhiko, Chairman and CEO, JETRO
Sector sessions
Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary, MeitY
Ravi Capoor, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles
Arun Goel, Secretary, Department of Heavy Industries
PD Vaghela, Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals
Pushpa Subrahmanyam, Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing
Closing remarks
Sumita Dawra, Joint Secretary, DPIIT