Infrastructure development key to attracting investments: Envoy

July 11th, 2011 - 3:02 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 11 (IANS) Infrastructure development is a key to attracting foreign investment in India, Japanese Ambassador Akitaka Saiki said here Monday.

“Infrastructure is a very important area for attracting investments. Industries require infrastructure, so do other economic activities,” Saiki told IANS on the sidelines of an industry event here.

According to the envoy, the Japanese investors and government would like too see better infrastructure facility in India, which Japan expects to double trade volumes and investments in the next five years.

“As a result of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) which comes into force on Aug 1, we expect to double our trade and investments. But infrastructure is important for that to happen,” Saiki said.

The envoy said the Japanese side was satisfied with the progress being made on crucial infrastructure projects like Delhi-Mumbai industrial and freight corridor.

“They are both long-term projects for which progress is being made. Japan is a major investor in these projects and we are satisfied with the progress,” Saiki added.

On the question of land acquisition for the mega-infrastructure projects, the envoy said that every farmer has a right to keep his land and that the acquisition process should be transparent.

Saiki also said that basic rights in democracy like free speech or even right to go on strike should be respected.

The envoy categorically denied that Japan was curtailing its economic development assistance to India as a result of the twin tragedies of earthquake and tsunami that ravaged the island nation in March.

“On the contrary, our economic assistance to India is in progress. With this fiscal year’s official development assistance’s (ODAs) request already received. India is the largest receiver of our ODA,” Saiki said.

Currently major industrial and infrastructure projects like Delhi Metro receive the Japanese ODA.

The envoy said that with CEPA coming into force, sectors like automobile and other manufacturing activities in India would get a boost.

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