During the third Ministerial meeting of the Japan-India Policy Dialogue (JIPD) which was held here today, Mr. Naoshima Masayuki, the Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry and Mr. Anand Sharma, the Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry had extensive talks for establishing broader and deeper bilateral economic relations, development of regional economic cooperation in Asia and progressing WTO talks. A joint statement that was issued is as below.
The two Ministers discussed the progress of the ongoing Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) negotiation. The Ministers instructed the negotiators to accelerate the negotiations and to solve the remaining issues toward conclusion of a balanced and mutually beneficial agreement at the earliest.
Difficulties faced by the Indian exporters for footwear products and some agricultural products such as tea, coffee mangoes to Japan were also discussed in the meeting.
Discussion on cooperation in High technology Trade and creation of enabling conditions for encouraging business in high technology was also held during the meeting.
The Ministers welcomed the Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) for promotion of model “Smart Community” projects and expressed satisfaction at the early launch of the initiatives that aimed at integrated development of eco-friendly townships and industrial zones. The MoU was concluded by consortia of Japanese companies represented by Toshiba Corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Hitachi and JGC Corporation, Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation and Haryana State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corporation, Gujarat Infrastructure Development Board and Maharashtra Infrastructure Development Corporation.
The Ministers welcomed the opening of JETRO’s Chennai office and shared the view that Southern India is an important area as gateway to rest of Southeast Asia and expressed hope that it would promote investment from Japan by contributing to improving business environment.
The Ministers recognized the importance of strengthening regional cooperation toward East Asian economic integration. In this regard, the Ministers agreed to immediately commence discussion among EAS Senior Economic Officials on such issues as rules of origin, tariff nomenclature, customs related issues and economic cooperation.
The Ministers appreciated ERIA’s research activities to deepen the integration in East Asia and in particular looked forward to ERIA’s report to ASEAN+6 Economic Ministers in Vietnam in August on Comprehensive Asia Development Plan, which would contribute to better connectivity in the region, mandated by the last East Asia Summit. The Ministers also expressed expectation of ERIA’s further contribution in providing policy recommendation for growth strategy for East Asia such as developing infrastructure, expanding middle class, stimulating consumer market and encouraging innovation.
The Ministers shared the view that a strong multilateral trade system was vital for underpinning the recovery and ensuring future growth in the world economy, and committed themselves to continue their cooperation to achieve an ambitious, balanced and comprehensive conclusion of the Doha Development Round as early as possible.
The Ministers recognized the important role played by the Ministerial JIPD in promoting India-Japan economic engagement as a strategic priority for both countries and looked forward to the next meeting which would be convened in Tokyo in 2011.