NEW DELHI -- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the 'Make in India' initiative has become a movement in Japan and the island nation has created a fund of about USD 12 billion for it.
"Today, there is a 'Make In India' movement in Japan. I have been told that USD 11-12 billion fund has been earmarked for it. This clearly indicates how both the countries can move forward," he said while addressing the India-Japan Business Leaders Forum here.
'Make in India' is proceeding in mission mode, not just in India, but also in Japan, he added.
Modi also said that for the first time Japan will import cars from India.
"Maruti (Suzuki) will manufacture here... Japanese company will manufacture here and export it to Japan," he said, adding that both India and Japan should move ahead together, not just in the sphere of high-speed trains, but also for "high-speed growth."
Recalling his last visit to the country, Modi said Japan committed an investment of USD 35 billion.
"The figure had surprised many at that time, but today, within a short time-span, unimaginable progress had been made, and the contours of this investment were beginning to get visible on the ground," he said.
Highlighting the improvement in economic indicators in both India and Japan, he said these were extremely encouraging, especially in the light of the global economic slowdown.
"It is clear that India is a land of possibilities," he added.
Praising Modi's reforms programme, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, "Prime Minister Modi's speed of implementing policies and reforms is like Shinkansen (bullet train) and his reform agenda is as safe as Shinkansen."
Abe also said that India has become a very attractive investment destination for Japan.
On economic front, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the two countries would like to work closely as it will benefit both.
"Strong Japan is good for India and strong India is good for Japan... I hope economic ties between our two countries will be ever closer," Abe said.
Further, Modi said "Japan Plus" initiative that began last year in India as a policy experiment, is also doing well.
India wants not only high speed train, but also high speed growth, Modi said, adding that Indo-Japan business forum has discussed various opportunities between the countries.
Recommendations given by the forum will be actively considered by the Indian government, he said.
Economies of both the countries are showing signs of improvement amidst global slowdown, he said, adding, "Japan economic analysis which came yesterday was very encouraging.
Even India's manufacturing number was 10.6 per cent and 9.8 per cent IIP indicates growth."
Modi said there is a need to move forward, taking advantage of the strength of human resources and technological base.
He added that the strategy adopted to improve India's position in the Ease of Doing Business rankings, policy decisions and their effective implementation are now showing results.
Bilateral trade between the two countries stood at USD 15.51 billion in 2014-15 as against USD 16.29 billion in 2013-14.
India received USD 19.16 billion FDI from Japan during April 2000 and September 2015.
Speaking after the meeting, Maruti Suzuki chairman R C Bhargava said the company will export 'Baleno' at the moment.
When asked about the target, Bhargava said "we expect to export 20,000 to 30,000 in a year."
However, he added that exporting automobiles to Japan is not an easy task.
Apollo Tyres chairman Onkar S Kanwar said Japanese companies have committed investment in infrastructure sectors including power.
Highlighting the technological prowess of Japan, CII past president Ajay Sriram said there is a lot to learn and there is a high mutual access between both the countries which will be beneficial for investment in India.
Other business leaders who attended the meeting included Bharti Enterprises chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal, ICICI Bank MD Chanda Kochhar, Essar Group chairman Shashi Ruia, CII president Sumit Mazumder, Ficci president Jyotsana Suri and Assocham president Sunil Kanoria.
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