Business-in-India_AText : T Murrali

Trade between countries can happen on several counts and the simplest of things is the export/import of goods and commodities. The next important aspect is one country investing in the other based on certain parameters that will be primarily win-win for both. However, there are certain initiatives made by a few countries that go beyond these regular expectations. India’s relationship with Japan is one such thing.

It is a known fact that India and Japan have engaged in cultural exchange for centuries. And it continued after India’s independence with political relations between the two countries going forward without a hitch. Japan is one among the early investors in India; and in the case of the auto industry, Toyota and Nissan came in as collaborating companies even before the economy was opened up – through DCM Toyota and Alwyn Nissan. Officially, Maruti Suzuki became the biggest and most significant investment as Suzuki partnered with the Government of India.

Business-in-India_BThough investments from India in Japan are nothing to write home about, the investment of Japan in India has been growing consistently. This despite the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business Report’ not favouring business in India.

Why do Japanese companies show interest in India? According to Hidehiro Ishiura, Director General of Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), there are two major parameters that attract investments from Japan. One is India’s huge domestic market as the country is on the verge of development. Second, India is an export base for Japan to the markets west of the country. These initiatives have set investments growing.

With a network of nearly 40 offices in Japan and more than 70 abroad, JETRO is positioned to help both overseas and Japanese companies develop their business. In addition to their website, local offices offer trade and investment consultation services for businesses, trade associations and individuals.

A government-related organization that works to promote mutual trade and investment between Japan and the rest of the world, JETRO was originally established in 1958 to promote Japanese exports abroad. However, its core focus in the 21st century has shifted toward promoting foreign direct investment into Japan and helping small to medium size Japanese firms maximize their global export potential.

One of the major activities of JETRO is to promote Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Japan and promote trade and business between Japan and the rest of the world. It helps in promoting export of agricultural, forestry, fishery and food products, assisting market expansion of creative industries and the service sector, promoting the Japan brand, facilitating business ties of manufacturing and environmental industries, advising on a range of business issues with Japan and online business matching.

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