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Japan keen on Delhi-Mumbai corridor

Economic Times, India

Japan keen on Delhi-Mumbai corridor


30 June 2007

NEW DELHI: Ahead of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit here late August, India and Japan have stepped up negotiations on an economic pact and the multi-billion dollar Mumbai-Delhi industrial corridor with Trade Minister Akira Amari beginning a five-day visit here Saturday.

Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Amari is leading a delegation of top 15 corporate honchos, led by Suzuki Motor chairperson Osamu Suzuki.

Amari will meet Commerce Minister Kamal Nath and deputy chairperson of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia and discuss with them a host of trade-related issues with special focus on fleshing out the Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor project.

India has fine-tuned an ambitious plan for the industrial corridor project and will make a presentation to the Japanese side to increase funding for the project, now expected to cost $90-100 billion.

The project entails the development of infrastructure along the 1,483-km dedicated freight corridor between New Delhi and Mumbai that includes the building of airports, setting up of several agro-processing parks and special economic zones, creating 4,000 MW of power generation facility and two ports in Gujarat and Maharashtra.

The industrial corridor project, which was initiated during Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Tokyo visit in December 2006, is likely to be finalised during Abe’s visit to India in the last week of August.

The first phase of the project is expected to be completed by 2012. The second and the last phase of the project are expected to be completed by 2016.

Japan is keen to invest in India’s infrastructure and make it a hub for production and exports to Europe and West Asia.

Amari’s visit will be followed by a delegation of Japanese officials who will come here for another round of negotiations on a comprehensive economic partnership agreement between the two countries.