New Delhi: India today sought Japanese investment to develop 100 smart cities and high-speed bullet trains to improve infrastructure and create jobs.
"Japan is a natural partner of India. Japan is best in developing smart cities, development of high-speed trains...In the next five years, we need 10,000 Japanese companies. We will hand-hold them," Amitabh Kant, Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, said at a Ficci function.
Kant said Japan has already formed a partnership with India for the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project, a 1,483 kilometre dedicated freight corridor. He said about 1,000 Japanese companies currently have a presence in India.
In its election manifesto, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party said it would initiate the building of 100 new cities, enabled with the latest in technology and infrastructure.
India has proposed to build smart cities under the DMIC project. They will have self-sustainable habitats with minimal pollution levels, maximum recycling, optimised energy supplies and efficient public transportation.
"Rapid urbanisation is happening in India. About 750 million people would get into the urbanisation process in the next one decade and in all these things, Japan will be a natural partner," he added.
He said Japan would become a key player in the development of the Indian economy.
"Today, there is an opportunity to work with Japan. We look forward to work with Japan," he said.
India received USD 16.26 billion worth of foreign direct investment from Japan between April 2000 and April 2014.