His Excellency, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Distinguished
Members of the media,
Konnichiva (Good Afternoon/Namaskar)
I’m delighted that I got the opportunity to welcome my unique friend, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in India, especially in Gujarat. Prime Minister Abe and I have met several times on the sidelines of global conferences but welcoming him in India is a matter of great happiness for me. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit the Sabarmati Ashram with him. Today both of us visited the Dandi Kutir. This morning, together we carried out the ground-breaking ceremony of Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed railway project, which is being built with Japanese cooperation. This is a very big step. This is not just the beginning of high speed rail. While looking forward at our future needs, I consider this new railway philosophy as the lifeline of a New India. India’s uninterrupted progress has now been attached to a much faster pace.
Mutual trust and faith, understanding of each other’s interests and concerns, and continuous high level interactions, this is the uniqueness of Indo-Japan relations. The scope of our special strategic and global partnership is not confined to bilateral or regional levels only. We also have close cooperation on global issues. Last year, during my visit to Japan, we had a historic agreement for peaceful use of nuclear energy. I express my gratitude to the people of Japan, Parliament of Japan, and especially Prime Minister Abe for its ratification. This agreement has added a new chapter to our cooperation on the issue of clean energy and climate change.
In 2016-17, India got Japanese investment worth $ 4.7 billion which is 80 percent more than the previous year. Now Japan is the third largest investor in India. It clearly shows how much confidence and optimism is prevalent in Japan towards India’s economic development and a golden tomorrow. And by looking at this investment, it can be assumed that in the coming days people-to-people ties between India and Japan will grow further along with a growing business. We already provide visa on arrival facilities to citizens of Japan and now after the collaboration between India Post and Japan Post we are going to introduce a Cool Box Service so that the Japanese people living in India can directly get their favorite food from Japan. At the same time, I would also request the Japanese business community to open more Japanese restaurants in India! Today, India is on the path of a radical change at many levels. Whether it is ease of doing business or Skill India, taxation reforms or Make in India, India is transforming completely. This is a huge opportunity for Japanese businesses. And I’m glad that many Japanese companies are deeply involved with our flagship programs. We will also get to see its direct benefit during our conversation in today’s evening program with the business leaders of both the countries. We are the largest partner in Japan’s official development assistance programme and I warmly welcome the agreements that have been signed today for the projects in several sectors.
I am confident that our dialogue and the agreements signed by us today will further strengthen the partnership between India and Japan in all areas. With these words, I once again warmly welcome Prime Minister Abe and the high level delegation accompanying him.
Ijyo De Gozaimas (That’s all for now)
Arigato Gozaimas (Thank you)
Thank you very much.