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Japanese companies bet big on India as Modi govt rolls out red carpet

PM Narendra Modi with Japanese CEOs

A host of Japanese companies are quietly looking to expand their existing businesses and boost manufacturing facilities in India amid rise in global economic uncertainty driven by the Russia-Ukraine war. These companies are also keen to take advantage of the benefits that include tax incentives offered by the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme launched two years ago and the integrated Japanese industrial townships that are now under the Japan-India Investment Promotion Partnership.

“This is a space to watch out for..there will be a surge in investments and job opportunities,” said a top executive working with a Japanese multinational in India.

In March, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced an investment plan of Rs 3,20,000 crore (5 trillion yen) in the next five years. Subsequently, in May, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was in Japan to attend the QUAD summit, also held a meeting with top 30 CEOs of Japanese companies. “Make in India for the World” –was Modi’s message to the Japanese business community.

“The PM assured all assistance required to companies planning expansion in India,” the executive said.

In June Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announced an investment plan of about Rs 220 crore in its Indian subsidiary to set up a new factory in Maharashtra. NEC Corporation India has also drawn up expansion plans in India. The company has joined hands with Silvassa Smart City Limited for the implementation of a smart city Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC) project, slated to be completed within a year. Daikin and Suzuki Motor Corporation also feature in the list of companies wishing to expand in India. Suzuki Motors has already firmed up plans of investments of about Rs 10,440 crore (150 billion yen) —in building a new factory for production of electric vehicles battery by 2025. The manufacturing plant and vehicle recycling unit will come up in Gujarat.

Even before the Covid pandemic hit the world economy, a survey by the Japan Bank for International Co-operation revealed that India was the most preferred destination for potential business expansion for Japanese companies.

According to a report released in November 2021– undertaken by Nasscom in partnership with the Nomura Research Institute, Japanese investment in India has grown four times since 2016 creating 102,000 jobs.

At present, Japan is the fifth largest investor in India. The cumulative foreign direct investment (FDI) stood at $37.7 billion between April 2000 and till June, this year.

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