Investment Opportunities Centre for Urban Research
FDI diplomacy with Japan at play – The Telegraph, 9 June 2014

Date: 9 June 2014

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New Delhi, June 8: The new Narendra Modi-led government plans to change the way Indian diplomacy is conducted by focusing on what moves the world — money.

With that aim, Modi will look to work his charm on cash-rich Japan for investment and trade. New Delhi is keen to offer strategic engagement and preferential status to Japanese businesses trying to find a second home after China turned costly and at times threatening.
Modi, who’s also being courted by China whose foreign minister Wang Yi is currently here, will be visiting Japan early next month. Japan will be his second state visit after Bhutan.

India, Japan and the US will also hold three-way talks later this month, focusing on foreign direct investment (FDI) and defence ties.

India is likely to offer to Japanese investors enclaves along the Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor, rollback of retrospective taxation that saw tax demands of $3 billion from companies such as Mitsubishi, preferential treatment in investment-related clearances and regular economic dialogues on the lines of India-US talks. Besides, India is likely to allow FDI in railways, paving the way for an India-Japan joint venture to build a bullet train using the Japanese Shinkansen technology that has been preferred over French and Chinese offers.

The carefully crafted diplomatic move follows a series of visits Modi made to Japan as the chief minister of Gujarat. After Modi won the elections last month, a bout of public bonhomie followed with Abe tweeting, “Great talking to you, Mr Modi. I look forward to welcoming you in Tokyo and further deepening our friendly ties.” The tweet from the usually dour Japanese Prime Minister was unusual. But Abe has long treated Modi as a kindred spirit. Both are ultra-nationalists, committed to making economics the cornerstone of diplomacy.

Modi, as the chief minister of Gujarat, has long been involved in the Japan-funded Delhi-Mumbai corridor as it passes through his home state, Gujarat. Modi hopes the indus- trial zone will draw Japanese investment not only in Gujarat but also in northern and western India.
 
Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Trust to provide Rs 6,000 crore for Dholera, Shendra-Bidkin

Date: Jun 5, 2014

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SINGAPORE The Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) Trust will provide Rs 3,000 crore each for the launch of trunkinfrastructure in two industrial cities of Dholera and Shendra-Bidkin this year as momentum picks up for the planned mega development.

"We will launch two cities this year and give Rs 3,000 crore each for the development of trunk infrastructure in two cities - Dholera, Gujarat and Shendra-Bidkin, Maharashtra," Talleen Kumar, CEO and Managing Director, DMICDevelopment Corp Ltd, told PTI on the sidelines of the World Cities Summit in Singapore last night. Construction work on the Dholera Special Investment Region Gujarat and Shendra-Bidkin Industrial Park Maharashtra will start early next year, he said. Work at Dholera would begin from a 22 sq km activation zone to expand the industrial region development as part of DMIC in Gujarat, while 32 sq km of land has already been acquired for the Shendra-Bidkin development, he said.

"The DMIC development would bring a new paradigm shift and innovative approach in bringing manufacturing centres with job creation and manufacturing as the key (economic) driver (to India)," he said at the forum.

The DMIC mega development was resonating among investors across the world because it is a unique model for industrialising the economy. Industry observers say that DMIC would attract more than $100 billion in new investments while the value of land in the corridor would multiply manifolds, benefiting land owners and farmers, taking them into manufacturing industries as well as raising the value of the produce from surging industrial demand.
 
The Modi mantra for Real Estate

Date: June 7, 2014

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The realty industry is placing a great deal of hope in the new Narendra Modi government. The NDA made three major promises in its manifesto with direct relevance to the real estate sector. These were the development of 100 new cities; putting a new land use policy in place; and planning for low-cost housing.

The industry can expect revitalised funding, with FDI in real estate expected to get a lift. Global investors appear optimistic. The urban development ministry is expected to allow foreign investment up to 49 per cent, free of all conditions.

Second, the industry can expect fast-tracked infrastructure projects. The completion of projects such as the DMIC (Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor) and the DFC (Dedicated Freight Corridor) could mean development of many new cities across the belt of these projects. These massive on-going infrastructure projects will lead to a huge demand for warehouses, thereby giving a significant boost to warehousing and logistics-related real estate demand.
 
Modi’s foreign policy will bring out ‘red carpet’ for investors

Date: 19 May, 2014

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Since Narendra Modi swept to power on the development plank rather than on a saffron agenda, it is but natural that after he takes over as the Indian Prime Minister his foreign policy too would be development-oriented. In other words, his immediate focus would be on economic diplomacy while every other form of diplomacy will take a back seat. For the first six months or so, Modi will hardly have time to think of core-foreign policy issues other than focusing on beefing up the economy, creation of jobs, and building up an investor-friendly climate.

While strategic issues will have to wait for some time, Modi’s most immediate foreign policy-related task would be to deliver on his favourite one-liner quote: “No red tape; only red carpet” for all investors, both domestic and foreign.

A technocrat intimately, who is involved in an ambitious Government of India’s mission of attracting investments worth $100 billion by 2020 in the field of electronics, told this columnist that the investor sentiment was so high that Modi as Prime Minister would meet this target by next year. Moreover, the technocrat was confident that Modi would make this project far more ambitious and set a new target of $500 billion by 2020. This is only the electronics sector in which telecom is one of the important sub-sectors. A far bigger story is set to unfold in the infrastructure sector. Modi’s target would be attracting investments in this crucial area to the tune of a whopping one trillion dollars by 2020.

Modi will inevitably be putting a laser beam focus on two countries for turning around the Indian infrastructure: Japan and Russia. With both these countries India enjoys extremely close political ties, free of any contentious issues whatsoever. Japan is already an integral part of India’s growth story and closely involved in massive infrastructure projects, including the $90 billion Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC).

Modi can use his personal equation with the Japanese leadership to nudge them to do much more than the Japanese have been doing. The Japanese would be all too willing. During the decade-long UPA tenure, India has tried its best to hardsell the DMIC project and given several presentations to many countries, including France, Germany and Russia, urging them to invest in the project.

Modi can also be expected to pitch in directly with the Russian leadership and persuade Moscow to invest in DMIC. The Indians had given a presentation to the Russian leadership in Moscow as recently as earlier this year on the DMIC project. Russia has not yet taken any decision on the Indian request thus far. A good part of DMIC directly benefits Gujarat, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. Modi can also look at China for huge investments. The Chinese are quite eager to pump in billions of dollars in the Indian infrastructure sector, but Indian security agencies have their own red lines in the Chinese proposals.
 
Foreign Investment Opportunities in the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor

Date: April 29, 2014

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DELHI – Spread out across more than 1,500 kilometers and six different Indian States, the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) is one the most ambitious Indian infrastructure projects in the nation’s history. Undertaken in collaboration with the Japanese government, the DMIC is set to consolidate

India’s growing role as a global manufacturing and trading hub while boosting the nation’s economy in the process. When completed, the DMIC will feature an industrial zone spanning the length of the corridor with “smart cities” that will accelerate the expansion of industry and

infrastructure throughout the region. One of the main goals of the DMIC is to foster a stronger, globally competitive economic base in India that additionally creates favorable conditions for local commerce, foreign direct investment and long-term sustainable development.
 
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