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India Japan joint working group for Info. & Comm. Tech. begins

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New Delhi (Dec. 03, 2014): The Minister for Communication and Information Technology, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that there is a need for matching India’s capacities in the field of human resources and IT software skills with Japan’s strength in technology and manufacturing.  Inaugurating India -Japan Joint Working Group meeting for strengthening cooperation in the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in New Delhi today, he said, the two countries had shared civilization moorings and cultural heritage. He said they are expected to be natural partners for technical and industrial cooperation in the years to come. The minister detailing the scope for partnership said that the current government in India plans to connect all panchayats with broadband by 2016, as a part of its ‘Digital India’ programme and also wants to give a big push to electronic manufacturing. He invited Japanese companies to set up manufacturing facilities in India as a part of another prime programme of the present government called- ‘Make in India’.

In his opening remarks the Japanese Vice-Minister for Policy Coordination International Affairs, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication (MIC) Shri Yasuo Sakamoto, leading his countries delegation said, Japanese companies are interested and business projects in the ICT sector needs to be promoted. He said the India-Japan statement made after the meeting of the Prime Ministers of the two countries during the recent visit of Shri Narendera Modi to Japan had said the platform for the purpose.

In the area of Telecom, IT and Electronics, the two countries have complementary strengths.  Whereas, Japan has the technology and is excellent in hardware side, India offers market and has great strengths in the area of software development. Together India and Japan can develop Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for the world market. Japan is a major manufacturing powerhouse, manufacturing about $1 trillion of goods, which constitutes about 20% of its $5 trillion GDP. On the other hand, India is a land of opportunities with a potential of providing 600 million broadband connections in next 5-6 years, which will entail an investment of tens of billions dollar. Considering these factors, India becomes a natural partner for Japan to execute joint projects for manufacturing of electronic and telecom goods and equipment here in India.

The reforms agenda unleashed by the new government, including its ‘Digital India’ programme, provides an opportunity for Japanese companies to invest in India, particularly in the field of ICT where 100% FDI is permitted, besides collaborating with Indian companies for manufacturing of ICT products.

Realizing their complementary strengths, two countries are exploring the possibility of having joint projects in the following areas during the two day Joint Working Group meeting. They would also discuss other matters of mutual cooperation in the field of ICT including -
·        Green ICT
·        ICT for disaster management
·        Cyber and network security
·        ICT applications for Social and Economic challenges leveraging National ID scheme being implemented in India.

The Minister of Communication & IT Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad and Shri Yasuo Sakamoto Vice Minister of International Affairs, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication (MIC) had met on the sidelines of ICT Ministerial meeting at Brunei on 09 September 2014 and discussed matters of mutual interest in the field of ICT and decided to hold a Joint Working Group in Delhi in December 2014. This joint Working Group meeting is part of this ongoing process of cooperation.   

Earlier during his visit to Japan from 30 August to 03 September 2014 the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi met the Prime Minister of Japan Mr Shinzo Abe and the two  countries decided to cooperate with each other in different fields such as defence, strategic cooperation, healthcare, energy, roads, Railways, art culture, heritage  among others.

Indian side at today’s meeting was represented by Telecom Equipment Manufacturers’ Association, Cellular Operators’ Association of India, ITI among others. The Japanese delegation will have representatives from companies like Hitachi, Toyota, FUJITSU, NAGOYA Electric Works, NEC.

Shri Rakesh Garg, Secretary (Telecom), Shri A.K. Bhargava, Member (Technology) and otrher senior officers from DoT and MIC Japan are participating in the discussions..

Source: PIB