Japan, the fourth largest investor in the country, on Wednesday expressed keenness to increase its trade and investment ties with India.
Regretting that the trade volume between the two countries was far below its potential, Japanese Consul General Kenji Shimizu said in Kolkata, "I believe the trade could be increased provided more attention was given to the Japanese market through study of the needs of Japanese consumers."
He said that for the past decade, India's overall trade expanded by 2.5 times in its value terms, while trade between India and Japan expanded only by two times.
"The trend with Japan did not quite correspond to the pace of India's impressive trade performance," he said, attributing the phenomenon to the bad shape of Japanese economy and India's commodity-oriented export structure.
He also suggested that the current complimentary structure of the trade could be shifted to a more value-added and diversified one for India.
Besides trade growth, Shimizu called for increased investment ties and said the country, which saw a dig in economic relationship with India after the latter's nuclear tests in 1998, expected its investment flow to reach the level of about $400-500 million per annum.
"In 1997, Japan's investment in India reached more than $500 million per year and decreased to $150 million in 2002 due to the nuclear tests and other factors. If political situation remains as they are, we would be able to keep the tune of $400-500 million now," he said.