Bangalore has to improve its infrastructure and governmental procedures have to be accelerated to enable more Japanese businesses to come in, Ambassador of Japan to India Takeshi Yagi said.
Speaking to Express at the National Japan Day celebration hosted by the Consulate of Japan, Yagi said Japanese businessmen have a positive opinion about doing business in Bangalore. There are around 240 Japanese companies in Karnataka, most of them in and around Bangalore. “I had conversations with Japanese business people this time and their opinion is positive. But it will be all the more better if government procedures are accelerated and infrastructure improved,” he said.
In May this year, Japanese motorcycle manufacturer Honda started production of commuter bikes at its Narsapur plant with a capacity of 18 lakh units a year, making it the company’s largest plant in the world. “The number of Japanese companies has increased by 40 in the last two-three years, which is a very steep increase. This shows Japanese investment in Bangalore and Karnataka has been increasing,” Yagi said.
On Friday morning, Yagi met Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and they discussed the business environment in Bangalore. On Siddaramaiah’s proposed high-speed rail link between Bangalore and Mysore, Yagi said it was not a priority. “We have started a feasibility study for another stretch between Mumbai and Delhi. For now, we need to focus on this stretch. Based on this experience, we will examine the possibility of a Bangalore-Mysore link, but there’s nothing concrete now.”
Bangalore has joined the list of investment destinations for Japanese business interests, Yagi said. “There are five centres of Japanese investment here - in and around New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and now Bangalore and Gujarat,” he said.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which is extending financial support to various infrastructure and developmental projects, is ready to cooperate with India based on needs and proposals from this side, he said.
When asked what the extent of financial support to the mega 560-km Chennai-Bangalore Industrial Corridor would be, Yagi said: “The entire master-plan for the project will be completed in about a year. We have been extending a sizeable volume of financial cooperation to many other projects and the same is likely for this.”