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Japan further accelerates interventions in Northeast, shows keen interest to invest in Sikkim

Apr 01, 2022

GANGTOK/NEW DELHI, 01 April 2022: HE Mr Satoshi Suzuki, Ambassador of Japan to India, on Friday remarked that people-to-people connect can be strengthened between Japan and Sikkim through inter- parliamentary exchanges between Japanese and Indian parliamentarians in collaboration with FICCI.

Addressing the '6th Dialogue with States: Connecting Japan with Sikkim' organized by FICCI Forum of Parliamentarians, jointly with the Embassy of Japan, Mr Suzuki expressed that Sikkim is located at a strategically important juncture and is full of potential, not only for domestic development, but also for the stability and prosperity of a wider region from a geopolitical perspective. 

Highlighting India- Japan partnership, His Excellency mentioned that India and Japan continue to collaborate through the Act East Forum (AEF) for sustainable social and economic development of the region. Both countries are focused on enhancing connectivity in the region. They have various initiatives like 'Japan-India Initiative for Sustainable Development of the North- Eastern Region of India (SDINE)'; 'Initiative for Strengthening the Bamboo Value Chain in the North- East' and cooperation in areas as agriculture and food processing, health, care and sanitation, forest management, connectivity improvement, disaster prevention and mitigation and tourism.

Ambassador Suzuki also mentioned about the 6th Act East Forum and noted that ongoing ODA projects supported by Japan in this region amount to more than 230 billion Yen (~USD 2 Bln)

Mr SC Gupta, Chief Secretary, Govt of Sikkim noted that India & Japan share good economic, political, and social relations which are further strengthened by engagements like FICCI's Dialogue with States. He also noted that Sikkim and Japan can collaborate in infrastructure development, connectivity, skill development and investments can be expanded in food processing, organic agriculture, value chain development, bamboo processing.

Mr Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Member of Parliament and Chair, FICCI Forum of Parliamentarians stated that Japan holds an important place for India both historically and culturally. He mentioned that there is immense potential between Sikkim and Japan especially in sectors like tourism, power, agriculture and infrastructure. 

Dr Jyotsna Suri Co-Chair, FICCI Forum of Parliamentarians, CMD, Bharat Hotels Ltd and Past President, FICCI, talked about the importance of the Dialogue with States initiative as a track II discussion to strengthen the state connect with India's key strategic partners. 

Mr Harshavardhan Neotia, Co-Chair, FICCI Forum of Parliamentarians, CMD, Ambuja Neotia and Past President, FICCI concluded the session.

Chief Minister Mr Shri Prem Singh Tamang graced the occasion subsequently and had a meeting with Ambassador and senior officials of JICA, on areas of opportunities and any support required by the Japanese government.  The discussion covered all aspects including economic cooperation, start-up ecosystem, capacity building, art and culture, tourism and people to people ties of Japan's existing and potential connect with Sikkim.

India and Japan share strong cultural and civilizational ties and have engaged in various institutional dialogue mechanisms to strengthen bilateral as well strategic partnership. The bilateral relation between the two countries, which has deepened further under the leadership of PM Shinzo Abe and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has set an example for the international community.

The Dialogue with States was launched by FICCI in 2018 to highlight the potential of Indian states and the socio-economic connect with India's key economic partners.  It is an effort by FICCI to reach out to Indian states to catalyze the bilateral relations between India and the partner country with an aim to strengthen and enhance engagement at granular level. Idea is to further deepen our ties to reshape not only the economic and strategic fold in the Indian State but also B2B engagements which will lead to multi-dimensional growth and prosperity.