India, Japan to increase cooperation in DMIC

New Delhi: Reflecting their increasing commercial ties, India and Japan on Monday held their first Economic Dialogue during which they agreed to accelerate cooperation in several infrastructure projects, including Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) and railways.

"We discussed the entire gamut of issues in which our two countries cooperate. In particular, we agreed on how to accelerate cooperation in the flagship DMIC," External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, who along with his Japanese counterpart Koichiro Gemba co-chaired the Dialogue, told reporters here.

He said that both the sides have also agreed to increase cooperation in railways sector and Japan would assist in chalking out a Comprehensive Master Plan for the Chennai-Bengaluru Corridor. "We also discussed cooperation in the railways sector including the ongoing Dedicated Freight Corridor project as well as the possibility of India obtaining High Speed Rail technology from Japan," Krishna said at a joint press meet.

India`s ambitious USD 90 billion DMIC project is aimed at creating industrial infrastructure along the Delhi-Mumbai Rail Freight Corridor, which is under implementation. Japan is giving financial and technical aid for the project, which will cover seven states totalling 1,483 kilometers.

On the issues, Gemba said, "India and Japan will cooperate each other to achieve success in specific projects under DMIC. Both sides will work together to materialise the master plan on the infrastructure development in the areas between Chennai and Bengaluru."

Last year, Japan has expressed intention to invest USD 4.5 billion (about Rs 23,400 crore) in the DMIC project over the next five years. Gemba also said that both the sides would promote cooperation in infrastructure development in India including in the area of high speed railway trains.

"Both sides will work to promote comprehensive economic partnership in East Asia," he said adding "we are at the stage to further develop bilateral economic relationship". The two-way trade between the countries has increased to USD 18.31 billion in 2011-12, from USD 13.82 billion in 2010-11.

India`s exports to Japan mainly include petroleum, gems and jewellery, transport equipment and machinery, while imports include iron and steel, electronic goods, chemicals and metals.