Making Gujarat a hot investment destination for perfectionist Japan
Gujarat created a niche for itself in the heart and minds of Japanese people
On the invitation of Government of Japan, Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi accompanied by senior officers and captains of business & industry paid a visit to Japan from 22 – 27 July, 2012. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Japan as a host organization, managed the visit.
Shri Mr. Narendra Modi is the only Chief Minister of any state who has been invited by the Government of Japan and received unprecedented welcome in Japan. The political leadership of ruling and opposition parties as well as business & industry and Japanese media had tremendous interest and excitement in Gujarat. At a time when whole world is reeling under the economic slowdown and Japanese economy too passing through tough times, Gujarat’s double digit growth provides a great hope.
He has established Gujarat as front ranking State and ‘Gujarat’ means progress and development. Japanese establishment – Government, industry and business wants strong relations with this ‘miracle economy’ Gujarat. Mr. Narendra Modi left last impact in the heart and minds of people of Japan about ‘brand Gujarat’.
He showcased Gujarat as an ideal destination for investment and technology transfer from Japan. He established emotional and cultural connect between Japanese people and Gujaratis for long-term relationships.
Since, 2007, when Gujarat Chief Minister visited Japan, since then relations between Gujarat and Japan have grown by leap and bounds. During the visit, Chief Minister held a number of delegation level meetings with important dignitaries, viz.
Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Katsuya Okada
Minister for Economy, Trade & Industry Mr. Yukio Edano
Minister for Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Toursim Mr. Yuichiro Hata
Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Koichiro Gemba
JETRO Chairman Mr. Hiroyuki Ishige
Vice Minister, Foreign Affairs Mr. Kazuyuki Hamada
Ex-Prime Minister Mr. Yasuo Fukuda
Ex-Prime Minister Mr. Shinzo Abe
A number of Parliamentary delegations (MPs) and Swenators
Governors of Hamamatsu Prefecture (state)
Governor of Aichi Prefecture (state)
Vice Governor of Aichi Prefecture (state)
Governor of Hyogo Prefecture Mr. Toshizo Ido (state)
Vice Governor of Hyogo Prefecture Mr. Yoshimoto (state)
Chairman, Japan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (JCIC) Mr. Tadashi Okamura
Chairman Keidanren ( Japan Business Federation) Mr. Hiromasa Yonekura
Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry
India Centre Foundation
Members of Indian Social Society, India Club and Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry, etc.
Hamamatsu Chamber of Commerce & Industry Mr. Mimuro
Meetings with President/ Chairman/ CEO/ MD of top Japanese companies (Fortune 500) viz. Sumitomo Corporation, Toyota Motor Company, IHI, Hitachi, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, Mizuho Itochu Corporation, Kowa, Suzuki Motors, etc.
During the four-day visit, delegation participated in investment seminars at Tokyo, Hamamatsu, Nagoya and a round table conference with top industry leaders at Osaka and various receptions organised of JETRO, JICA, Japan–India Parliamentarians Friendships League, India Foundation Centre, Indians settled in Japan and Japanese Government. All these meetings, seminars and round table were attended by the members of delegations and officials of Indian Embassy and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In the last five years, Japanese diplomats and business/ industry leaders have firsthand experience of decisive leadership, consistent and transparent policy and good governance in Gujarat, which is driving Gujarat economy and bringing investment. With Gujarat getting transformed into a modern manufacturing and automobile hub with abundance of highly-skilled manpower and great emphasis on new and green technology, Japan see Gujarat as their best investment destination.
In spite of Japan’s Parliament in session and Government busy in the midst of highly debated and critical bill raising consumption tax to foot the rising social security and healthcare cost of aging population, they invited the Gujarat Chief Minister and arranged all the high level meetings.
At Tokyo, he had a delegation level meeting with Mr. Yukio Edano, Minister for Economy, Trade & Industry (METI) on various aspects of economy, industry, business and growing trade and explored the opportunities to increase the Japanese investment in Gujarat. Impressed with excellent infrastructure in Gujarat, Japan sees Gujarat as best place to do business. Mr. Modi discussed a number of innovative projects relating to renewable energy, infrastructure, tourism promotion, water management, etc. with the Japanese Minister.
He also had a wide ranging discussion with the Minister for Land, Infrastructure, Transport & Tourism especially on Metro Rail, high speed connectivity between various cities, other infrastructure, tourism promotion, air connectivity between Tokyo – Ahmedabad as traffic and visits from Japan to Gujarat and vice versa is on increase. Both leaders agreed that there is a wide ranging areas where Japan and Gujarat should collaborate and it will be beneficial to all.
He also held a detailed discussion with Ex-Prime Minister Mr. Shinzo Abe, who is known as friend of India and had initiated Delhi Freight Corridor (DFC) and Delhi – Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC). He reiterated his continued support to promote investment in Gujarat and accepted the invitation from Mr. Narendra Modi to Visit Gujarat.
In spite of Japan’s Parliament being in session, Mr. Yasuo Fukuda, a highly respected Ex-Prime Minister of Japan and a team of MPs held a wide ranging discussion with the delegation led by Mr. Modi. Mr. Fukuda and MPs hosted a reception in the honour of Mr. Modi. Last year, Mr. Fukuda along with Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Kazuyuki Hamada had visited Gujarat and he recalled his discussion with the Chief Minister. Japanese MPs had a lot of questions for Mr. Modi and especially wanted to know more about the governance which led to this double digit growth in Gujarat especially at a time when there is worldwide slow down in the economy. Mr. Fukuda, spoke about greater Japanese investment and transfer of newer technology to Gujarat. Mr. Fukuda admired the approach of the Chief Minister and ensuring sustainable development leading to increase in forest and mangrove cover, improved habitat management for wildlife. He appreciated the steps taken by Mr. Modi on renewable energy and making the state a policy-driven state.
Mr. Modi held a high level meeting with Mr. Koichiro Gemba, Foreign Minister of Japan. Mr. Gemba complimented Mr. Narendra Modi for his good governance, high economic growth in Gujarat, sound management of economy and focus on environmental management and green economy coupled with reforms to enable the people of Gujarat to improve their lives. He promised to further support and encourages Japanese companies to invest in Gujarat. Mr. Modi recalled the historical relations between Japan and Gujarat, and wide ranging opportunities available in Gujarat.
JETRO, a government agency responsible for promotion of external trade and investment has entered into a MoU with iNDEXT-b to promote Japanese investment in Gujarat. Gujarat Chief Minister held a delegation level meeting with JETRO Chairman Mr. Ishige, as Japan is the partner country for Vibrant Gujarat Summit. A detailed plan was discussed for investment promotion and facilitating FDI in Gujarat.
JETRO organised a seminar on ‘investment in Gujarat’ wherein leading business and industry leaders of Japan participated. In fact, response was so overwhelming that JETRO has to stop registration on the last day and many of the leading industries couldn’t attend. In a packed hall, Mr. Narendra Modi presented the growing economy of India and pitched Gujarat as a leading destination in the country. In his speech, he highlighted the socio-cultural ethos of Gujarat and its people and strong values shared by Japanese and Indian people. In the seminar, JETRO Chairman and other leading industries of Japan spoke about their experience of Gujarat and its good governance and consistent policy.
Later in the reception, attended by who’s who of Japanese business and industry, they honoured Chief Minister Mr. Narendra Modi for his stupendous achievement and showing a way forward to economy. Mr. Modi accepted their compliments with humility and dedicated to the same to the people of Gujarat and their ethos and culture.
Mr. Modi had a meeting with President, Chairman, MDs and CEOs of top Japan industries viz. Sumitomo Corporation, IHI Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, Hitachi, Itochu, Bank of Tokyo, Mizuho Financial Group, etc. and discussed their plan/ proposals for investment in Gujarat. He invited them to participate in the forthcoming Vibrant Gujarat Global Investor Summit to be held in January, 2013 at Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar
In a reception organised by India Centre Foundation, attended by a very large gathering in a packed hall, Mr. Modi spoke about growing Indian economy, infrastructure and conducive environment in Gujarat to live and do their business. Mr. Modi also had meetings with Mr. Tadashi Okamura and other members of Japan Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Keidanren’s Chairman Mr. Hiromasa Yonekura and other senior members and Mr. Ken Matsuzawa, head of International Friendship Exchange Council. In these meetings, areas of cooperation in business, economy, trade, investment, culture, tourism, etc. were firmed up to enhance the bilateral growth between Japan and Gujarat.
Mr. Kazuyuki Hamada, Deputy Prime Minister received Mr. Narendra Modi at Prime Minister’s Office and had an extended meeting on various aspects of Gujarat – Japan relations. The meeting continued beyond the scheduled time and both leaders discussed a number of areas for possible cooperation. Mr. Modi extended an invitation to Mr. Hamada to visit Gujarat at the earliest. Deputy Prime Minister accepted the invitation and showed his keenness to visit Gujarat on the first opportunity.
Government of Japan hosted a reception in the honour of Mr. Narendra Modi, which was attended by Ministers and senior officials
From here, Mr. Modi along with his delegation accompanied by Vice President of JICA and officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs travelled to Hamamatsu – the city of Suzuki, where was received by Mr. Suzuki and had a high level meeting with Mr. Suzuki, President Suzuki motors, meet its engineers, visit Suzuki R&D Centre. Mr. Suzuki explained their plan especially vendors, jobs and training to Gujarat’s engineers at Japan so that they learn the whole production process. He also explained the requirements of various component vendors who all ae coming with Suzuki Motors to Gujarat.
In Hamamatsu, Chief Minister also addressed a huge gathering of CEOs of world famous automobile companies and various component makers. A reception was organised where Governor and Vice Governor of the Prefecture and Mayor of the city along with top CEOs of companies and Chairman of Hamamatsu Chamber of Commerce & Industry were present. The Indian business delegation interacted with famous automakers and various auto-component makers at Hamamatsu.
Osaka – Tokyo corridor is like Delhi – Mumbai Industrial Corridor and the delegation covered all major industrial centres like Tokyo, Hamamatsu, Nagoya, Osaka and Kobe. At Nagoya, JETRO organised a seminar wherein delegation participated and explained the strength of Gujarat. The Governor and Vice Governor of Aichi Prefecture also held a detailed meeting with the delegation led by Hon’ble Chief Minister. A reception was also held by JETRO where Governor, Vice Governor, Head of Chamber of Commerce & Industry felicitated the Chief Minister. One-to-one meetings with top industries were held and a number of manufacturing SMEs showed keen interest to investment in Gujarat.
At Osaka, the delegation led by Chief Minister attended a round table conference and reception organized by Mizuho Bank. Here the delegation led by Hon’ble CM also had one-to-one meetings with more than 30 companies interested in investment in Gujarat. They are supported by the Mizuho Bank. The Osaka Consulate General Mr. Vikas Swarup ably assisted by his team facilitated the meetings.
At Kobe, the delegation attended a reception organized by the Indian Community where many of them showed interest in setting up their ventures in Gujarat. The Kobe, one-to-one meetings and interaction took place with the captains of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The delegation also visited Kobe port areas and it was explained in the detail about facilities and its functioning. There are many things which a state like Gujarat can learn from Kobe port. The Kobe was also affected by devastating earthquake in 1995. In 2001, Kobe was among the first State who came forward with all help and assistance. The delegation led by CM had a high level meeting with the Governor and Vice Governor of Hyogo Prefecture and a number of areas where collaboration is possible and will be beneficial, were discussed. H E Governor showed keenness to work closely with Gujarat in various areas like cyber technology, port development & management, disaster management, etc.
A reception was also hosted by the Hyogo prefecture attended by high ranking officials, viz. Vice Governor, Mayor, Foreign Affairs officials, industry & business leaders, etc.
During the visit, Hon’ble Chief Minister and delegation met more than 2,000 companies varying from medium to Fortune 500 companies and attended about 65 programmes, 4 seminars/ round table, in a 4-day visit.
Overall the visit was an unprecedented success and Japan Government, business and industry leaders were highly excited and expect a lot of business with Gujarat. The biggest contribution of this visit has been the effective showcasing of Gujarat as a brand with whom Japan would like to do business and their industry would like to make investment. Gujarat has created a place among heart and minds of people of Japan which will yield very rich dividends. It will now be much easier for Gujarat to attract investment from Japan and enable Gujarat based business and industry to do business with Japan and forge partnership. With the strengthening of this process, people of Gujarat will have better opportunities to realise its full potential.
Outcome: Distinct & Historic
After the first visit of Narendra Modi to Japan in April 2007, a series of activities and flow of people from Japan had already started. This includes Japan’s participation in Vibrant Gujarat Summit, agreement with JETRO to set up Japanese cities, the setting up of a desalination plant and agreement with Maruti-Suzuki to set up their plant.
With the current visit of July 2012, this process has been tremendously strengthened. From the response of the Government, Industry and various Chambers of Commerce and Industry, it was very clear that the Japan side has developed strong liking for Gujarat as a place to live in and work. Both sides felt, agreed and decided that it is in their best interest to work together. Since, the Japanese industry and people are viewing Gujarat as their second home, the Chief Minister of Gujarat assured them that in Gujarat, they should feel as if they are in Japan only. He repeatedly said that they should feel part of the Gujarat family. This expression and assurance of Gujarat Chief Minister touched the heart of every Japanese present.
This was echoed, expressed and established in meetings with the Government dignitaries like Minister METI, Minister LITT, Minister Foreign affairs, and the Deputy PM as well as as ex-PMs like Mr Abe and Mr. Fukuda and Hon. Governors of Hamamatsu, Aichi and Hyogo and various other political dignitaries.
Both sides showed their keenness to quickly to give a formal and more productive shape to this spirit and further streamline the channels of exchange and interaction between both sides. In this direction, the following was agreed upon.
Hon Minister of METI in Japan suggested that there should be a formal structure for consistent dialogue and continued interaction and regular follow up between Japan and Gujarat. The Chief Minister assured him of that. It was agreed that soon, a structure will be evolved with that purpose.
Japan Government including the central Ministers, Governors and other dignitaries who met the Chief Minister of Gujarat expressed interest in Vibrant Gujarat even and assured of large scale participation from the side of Government and Industry.
Looking to the increasing frequency of visits of the Japanese to Gujarat, and also looking to increasing potential of Tourism, including Buddhist tourism, in Gujarat, the Chief Minister of Gujarat suggested to the Hon. Minister of LITT of Japan that there should be a direct flight from Japan to Ahmedabad. Hon Minister said that it is his own department and he will seriously examine the issue.
It was also discussed at all forums that both sides will work together to enhance understanding of both sides and particularly to make Japanese feel at home in Gujarat. In this direction, specific points which were agreed upon were: more and more student exchange, promoting Japanese cuisine and enhancing the learning of Japanese language in Gujarat. In fact, during the process of the visit, some entrepreneurs expressed interest in opening Japanese language school and also Japanese Hotel/restaurant in Gujarat.
At every place and forum and at every meeting and reception, the response was unimaginable. This showed the keenness of Japan to understand Gujarat as a formidable location to grow and a lucrative location to live at. Looking to this, the Chief Minister assured them that the work on the two Japanese townships will be expedited. These Japanese townships will have among other facilities, the Japanese industrial park, Japanese Schools and other amenities. This will be done in consultation with the JETRO and METI.
The Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) and the Special Investment Regions (SIRs) were the main center of discussion in Japan. The Japanese Government, its leadership and Industry is keenly following and is deeply interested in these mega projects and the components of these mega projects. Japan Government also expressed its support to some flagship early bird projects of Dholera SIR.
The Chairman & CEO of Suzuki expressed that they will soon start the work on setting up their proposed car manufacturing plant at Mandal SIR. He also said that the Gujarat Government should be assured that a large number of vendor units will also come alongwith the main plant. The Chief Minister assured him of all the infrastructure facilities in the area.
Mr. Suzuki also said that, to begin with, they will bring 500 young trainees from Gujarat to Japan for training for long term training. Thereafter they will be employed and deployed in their Gujarat and other plants. He also added that the employment potential is much more than this which they will develop in the manufacturing plant of Suzuki at Mandal-Becharaji.
A large number of entrepreneurs who met the delegation and the Chief Minister expressed keenness on setting up industry and base in Gujarat. They include industries in various sectors, a large number of SMEs of Japan and some of the biggest names in Japanese industry.
Particularly, the SME sector of Japan is aggressively interested in setting up industries in Gujarat. This will lead to employment generation in the State, technology upgradation of the Gujarat SMEs and overall productivity and price competitiveness in Gujarat Industry.
Looking to the interest of Japanese industries in Gujarat of the leading Banks of Japan expressed desire to open branch in Ahmedabad and also to take stakes in various projects specially those coming under the purview of DMIC and the SIRs. With this objective Mizhou Bank had also organised an interaction of Japanese Industry with the Gujarat Chief Minister.
The representative bodies of Industry including JETRO, JICA, JBIC, Keidanren, Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Hamamatsu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Hyogo Chamber of Commerce and Industry expressed unequivocal confidence and interest to work in and with Gujarat.
Japan’s interest and keenness to partner with Gujarat was also clear from the fact that the Japan Government gave very high place in protocol to the Chief Minister and his delegation. In fact, it is unprecedented that Japan Government invites the Chief Minister of a State of India and gives so much importance and attention to his visit.
It was also clear that Japan has accepted the standards and benchmarks implemented by Gujarat Government, its industry and administration and feels comfortable to relate to and work with in such an environment.
This visit has also led to some of the most significant developments in socio-cultural fields. A global temple of Lord Buddha to be built at ‘Dev ni Mori’ and participation of Hyogo prefecture (Kobe city) in disaster management systems of Gujarat are a few examples.
It was visible from the presentations and interactions that Gujarat’s processes of administration and policy vision has got global bench marking and the Japanese are more than convinced about the efficacy of the systems of Gujarat.
Many companies were targeting to form joint ventures with Gujarat based companies. From this, it was also clear that they feel comfortable with the business spirit and business acumen of the people of Gujarat. They find reliable partners in the people of Gujarat.
Overall, this visit was a historic and path breaking visit. Historic in the sense that a developed country like Japan accorded so much importance to a State of India and its leader is unprecedented. It is path breaking in the sense that with Gujarat – Japan partnership there a strong likelihood of a paradigm shift in terms of technology and quality upgradation, process discipline and in overall productivity in various sectors. As the Chief Minister of Gujarat said it is foreseen that Japan’s strength in hardware and that of India in software, and technology of Japan and talent of Gujarat is meeting together to give a higher level of satisfaction and sustainability to not only both countries but to the entire world community.
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