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Need to develop more cooperation between Uttarakhand and Japan in manufacturing, agri and food processing sector: Kunihiko Kawazu, Charge d'affaires ad Interim, Embassy of Japan in India

Nov 17, 2022

UTTARAKHAND, 17 November 2022Mr Kunihiko Kawazu, Charge d'affaires ad Interim, Embassy of Japan in India, on Tuesday said, "2022 marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between India and Japan where both sides have a Special Strategic and Global Partnership for economic cooperation."

Addressing the '7th Dialogue with States: Japan's Connect with Uttarakhand', jointly organised by FICCI Forum of Parliamentarians and Embassy of Japan, Mr Kawazu emphasized on potential cooperation between Uttarakhand and Japan in manufacturing industry, one of Japan's strengths, and agricultural and food processing industries.

Mr Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Chair, FICCI Forum of Parliamentarians and MP noted that Uttarakhand with good governance and sectoral strengths, is committed towards creating a progressive business environment.

Dr Jyotsna Suri, Co- Chair, FICCI Forum of Parliamentarians and Past President FICCI noted that the Forum as FICCI's track II initiative has been engaging with the Indian States for enhancing economic, political and cultural connect with Japan.

Representing the State Government at the Dialogue, Mr Rohit Meena, Director General- Industries and Managing Director- SIDCUL, Uttarakhand, spoke about the Japanese SME's and Exporters willingness to enhance trade in Uttarakhand.

Mr Meena further mentioned that the state government and industry should sign an MoU for making Uttarakhand a Japanese manufacturing hub. He also emphasized on cooperation in technology transfer in automobiles, machinery, chemicals, and processed foods.

Mr Mitsunori Saito, Chief Representative, JICA (India) noted that India is the largest partner of JICA and highlighted the various JICA projects in the State in forest resource management, capacity development, agriculture and food-processing and horticulture. He also mentioned that JICA is keen to promote socio- economic and cultural cooperation between India and Uttarakhand.

Mr Toshihiko Kurihara, Chief Representative of Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Representative Office in New Delhi, spoke about the need for microfinance in various sectors for promotion of sectoral opportunities between Japan and Uttarakhand. He also suggested on having sister city agreement between Japan and Uttarakhand to enhance socio- cultural and economic cooperation.

Speaking at the Trade and Investment session, Mr Takashi Suzuki, Chief Director General of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) New Delhi, expressed that Uttarakhand should focus on logistics and R&D to attract Japanese investments in the State.

Dr BVRC Purushottam, Secretary- Agriculture, Gov of Uttarakhand highlighted on the mega food parks and food processing clusters which are there in the state.

Ms Noriko Tsuchiya, CEO, Hakkko & Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. spoke about organic farming in Uttarakhand with the need to improve logistics and infrastructure in the transportation and storage of vegetables.

The Dialogue was also graced by Members of Parliament and Members of Legislative Assembly from Uttarakhand. Mr Ajay Tamta, MP, Lok Sabha BJP, talked about forest fires damaging timber, one of the important livelihood sources for the rural population, and sought support from Japan to help with disaster management. Mr Bharat Singh Chaudhary BJP MLA from Roorkee spoke about PPP model in promoting education and skill development between Uttarakhand and Japan. Mrs Mamata Rakesh, INC MLA from Bhagwanpur (SC) noted the importance of promoting horticulture and ayurveda along with cooperation in establishing wellness centres.

On the side-lines of the Dialogue, Mr Kunihiko Kawazu, CDA, Embassy of Japan, Mr Rajiv Pratap Rudy, MP & Chair, FICCI Forum of Parliamentarians, Dr Jyotsna Suri, Past President FICCI & CMD, The Lalit Group met Mr Pushkar Singh Dhami, Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. The Chief Minister noted the need for technical cooperation for disaster management and capacity development between Japan and Uttarakhand to ensure sustainable development and growth in the State. The meeting was graced by State Government officials, senior officials of JICA, JETRO, JBIC, and FICCI Leadership.

Dr Pankaj Pandey, Secretary- Industries, Government of Uttarakhand shared the vision of the government in creating adequate infrastructure, enabling a friendly ecosystem, and promoting trade across emerging sectors. He emphasized on AYUSH, Ayurveda & Yoga along with manufacturing for strengthening bilateral trade and investment.

Dr BVRC Purushottam, Secretary- Agriculture, Government of Uttarakhand elucidated the importance of food processing value chains.

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 Dialogue with States initiative of FICCI Forum of Parliamentarians is an effort to enhance bilateral relations between India and its partner country through deeper engagement in an Indian State for socio- economic, strategic and political spheres.