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Japan Trip 'Very Successful'; Modi Drums Up Investments

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Terming his Japan trip as "very successful", Prime Minister Narendra Modi hoped on Tuesday (2 September) that India's infrastructure will improve and the country will become clean with the help of $35 billion promised by Japan over five years.

Come 'Make in India'. No Red Tape, only Red Carpet! was Narendra Modi's message to Japanese businesspersons at Nikkei Inc. and Jetro, Japan's trade promotion body, on Tuesday. Hardselling India as a manufacturing destination a day after Japan announced a $35 billion investment, Modi cited the decisions of his 100-day old government to create ease for doing business.

"No other country offers such an opportunity" as India, given the fact that it has democracy, demography and demand, Modi said on the fourth-day of his trip, a day after he addressed investors and businessmen yesterday at another event.

Modi the showman was on full display as he matched skills with Japanese percussionists to perform a 'jugalbandi' with them at an event to launch TCS Japan Technology and Cultural Academy in Tokyo.

Modi's invitation to the Japanese investors came a day after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe promising a Rs 2.10 lakh crore investment and financing in infrastructure and other projects in India over the next five years.

The Prime Minister asked business leaders to "try their luck" by investing in India, contending that they could do "miracles" in terms of profits through low-cost manufacturing.

"What do manufacturers want? They look for low-cost manufacturing. They don't want high-cost manufacturing. Cheap labour, skilled manpower, ease of business and liberalised environment. Then it becomes economically viable in India.

"Trillions and trillions of dollars need to be invested in India. The electronic market especially the mobile handset sector is a big market with a potential," he said, adding the government has put digital India plans for 125 crores people on a mission mode.

Arguing why India provides a big potential, he said plans for metro construction in about 50 cities and renewable energy sector offers big opportunities.

"Bharat is ready to invite you. Make in India whatever facilities you want, they are there," he said wooing Japanese business leaders.

A Very Successful Trip
Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed his Japan trip as "very successful" and hoped that India's infrastructure will improve and the country will become clean with the help of $35 billion promised by Japan over five years.

Winding up his official programme on the penultimate day of his five-day visit, Modi expressed gratitude to Japan for reposing "trust" in India and demonstrating its friendship with a quip "yeh fevicol se be zyada mazboot jod hai (this bond is stronger than that of fevicol)".

"This visit has been very successful," Modi said at the Indian community reception hosted in his honour in Tokyo.

Later, talking to the Indian community, he said: "There has been talk about billions and millions. But there has never been talk of trillions," he said, referring to 3.5 trillion Yen ($35 billion or 2,10,000 crore) promised by Japan to India through public and private funding over the five years for various works, including building of smart cities and cleanup of the Ganga river.

"This is a big achievement. My biggest happiness is that Japan trusted us," he said at his last official programme after a hectic day of events and meetings.

Hopes of striking a nuclear energy deal at the summit similar to an accord reached with the United States in 2008 had faded in the run-up to Modi's visit. Still, the leaders said there had been "significant progress" in negotiations.
 
Modi is aiming to spur faster economic growth through infrastructure development and manufacturing to create work for the one million young people who enter the workforce every month.
 
In early steps, he has allowed foreign investors to own 100 per cent of railway projects with an eye to drumming up interest in building India's answer to Japan's high-speed 'bullet' trains. He is also courting Japanese investment in an ambitious industrial "corridor" to run between Delhi and Mumbai.