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Abe, Singh to meet today; investment deals likely

January 25, 2014 12:29 IST

The annual summit between India and Japan on Saturday will seek to forge greater bilateral trade and investment ties, with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe coming with a high-powered business delegation.

Abe, in New Delhi from Saturday to Monday on a hurricane tour, will be accompanied by heads from companies such as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Sumitomo Chemicals, Toshiba Corporation, Mitsui, Daiichi Sankyo, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, East Japan Railway Company and Hitachi, among others.

“The three priority areas for India in its relationship with Japan are Japanese technology, capital and modern management practices. Our relationship with Japan is a testimony to India’s successful outcome of its ‘Look East Policy’. The visit will focus in these areas,” said Gautam Bambawale, joint secretary (east Asia), ministry of external affairs.

Abe is to address a joint business chambers’ meeting (CII, Assocham and Ficci). He then is to have delegation-level talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He’s also to be chief guest for the Republic Day parade. This is the first time Japan has been invited for the celebration.

Bambawale said Abe’s presence as chief guest for the parade reflected the fact that India regarded Japan as a key ally in its growing relations with Northeast Asia. He added both countries enjoyed economic and business ties, besides defence, military and political cooperation.

Japan is India’s 12th largest trading partner, with bilateral trade reaching $18.5 billion in 2012-2013. India’s exports to Japan more than doubled from $2.5 billion in 2005-06 to $5.2 billion in 2010-11, growing at an average rate of 16 per cent annually. However, the share of Japan in India’s global exports fell from 2.4 per cent in 2005-06 to 2.1 per cent in 2010-11.

In 2011, both sides vowed to take their economic and business ties to newer heights, even as India and Japan marked 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. Some significant business deals are expected to be announced during the meeting between Abe and Singh.

Image: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe during a meeting in New Delhi on August 21, 2007.

Photograph: B Mathur/Reuters

Nayanima Basu in New Delhi
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