Posco, Nano & 26/11 worry Japanese investors: Samukawa

Written by Dilip Bisoi | Bhubaneswar | Updated: Dec 24 2008, 07:26am hrs
The Mumbai terror attack is going to have its impact on Japanese investment in eastern India, Japan consul general in Kolkata Fujio Samukawa has said. He told FE though Mumbai is far off from this part of the country, Japanese investors would not consider geographical distance while taking decisions on investment.

If the majority of Japan's trade and investment is located in the northern and western parts of the country, it was improving in the eastern region. However, the Mumbai terror attack is likely to cast its shadow on these activities, Samukawa said. According to him, the Nano issue has also influenced investment decisions of Japanese investors.

According to Samukawa, Japanese investors are keeping an eye on Posco-India's project. He said since the project involves the biggest foreign direct investment in India, investment decisions of Japanese investors largely depend on its fate. They are already worried about the fact that the project could not make much headway even after three years since the MoU had been signed. Media speculations regarding truncation of the project size would further disturb Japanese investors.

Samukawa, who is on a two-day maiden visit to the state after assuming charge, met chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday and discussed Japan's investment opportunities in Orissa. Patnaik has reportedly assured him that the Posco-India's 12 million tonne integrated steel project would come up in Orissa. "Though slow, the project is moving in the right direction", Patnaik reportedly told Samukawa.

Stating that the project has overcome the hurdle of forest clearance, Patnaik said that the problems of land acquisition and mines linkage would be sorted out soon. Patnaik also reportedly assured him that the project size was not being truncated.

According to Samukawa, Japanese investors are keeping an eye on Posco-India's project. He said since the project involves the biggest foreign direct investment in India, investment decisions of Japanese investors largely depend on its fate. They are already worried about the fact that the project could not make much headway even after three years since the MoU had been signed. Media speculations regarding truncation of the project size would further disturb Japanese investors.

The diplomat, who is in charge of four states of Orissa, West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand, said Japan's investment and trade in eastern India is improving. So far two Japanese companies have invested in two projects in West Bengal. While Mitsubishi Chemicals has set up a manufacturing facility for polyester fiber, the Kubota Corporation has set up an agriculture implementation unit in collaboration with Tata Metaliks. He said that eastern states should take some initiatives to showcase in Japan the opportunities that the region offers.