New Delhi: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan met Hiroshi Kajiyama, Japanese Minister for Economy, Trade and Investments on Tuesday and discussed composite engagement between India and Japan in both energy and steel sector. While speaking to the Japanese Minister, Pradhan said, “India and Japan are natural allies. Our bilateral relations have made great strides in the recent years. It has become truly multi-dimensional. As Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas as well as Minister of Steel, I would like to propose composite engagement in both these sectors.”
India seeks investment from Japan
Speaking about India’s emergence as a global investment destination, Pradhan said, “India is the hotspot for global growth. India jumped 67 ranks in just 3 years to take 63rd position in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Ranking 2019. India is one of the most attractive investment and business destinations of the world.”
Pradhan, while inviting enhanced investments from Japan in India, said, “We appreciate Japanese work culture and spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. I invite more Japanese companies, their technology and investments in India.”
‘Steel demand expected to grow’
Speaking about growing steel demand in the country, the minister said, “Our steel demand is expected to grow exponentially as we embark on becoming a USD 5 Trillion economy by 2024. An investment of USD 1.4 trillion will take place in infrastructure development in the next five years.”
Speaking about extensive co-operation in steel sector, Pradhan mentioned about Japan importing iron ore under a long term agreement and India importing high-grade steel from Japan. The minister expressed satisfaction at major Japanese steel companies investing in India through Joint Ventures (JVs) with Indian companies and invited more Japanese investments in steel sector in India. He also talked about Steel Cluster Policy which will encourage setting up small high-grade steel manufacturing plants.
Hydrocarbon synergy between India, Japan
Speaking about energy ties between the two countries, Pradhan said, “I firmly believe that both India and Japan have lot of complementarities in the hydrocarbons sector as well. India will see a massive investment of US$ 160 billion by 2024 in oil and gas exploration, refineries and in setting up of natural gas infrastructure. I see a huge potential for us to enhance engagements in energy sector, especially in LNG business, Gas Hydrates as well as our ambitious Strategic Petroleum Reserves Programme. This will be a win-win proposition for both our countries.”
Pradhan spoke about India’s energy transition and said, “We must have a sustainable energy consumption. India has its own aspiration and strategy to move ahead. Our Prime Minister is a great votary of sustainable energy consumption. We are moving towards a gas based economy. We must work on scientific advancement to make new sources of energy more affordable.”
Japan assures interest and support to India
Kajiyama stated his intention to continue providing support for capacity building for India in LNG sector. He mentioned that Japanese companies would be keen to enhance their participation in India’s oil and gas sector. The Japanese minister expressed his keenness to upgrade the bilateral engagement in steel sector, and in this regard, appreciated the ongoing efforts to set up structured and regular dialogue between the Ministry of Steel of India and METI of Japan.