AHMEDABAD: Japanese automobile companies may commit investments in the upcoming Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit (VGGS) which is expected to be held in January 2022, said Yasukata Fukahori, consul general of Japan in Mumbai. He was in Ahmedabad on Friday to kick start the guided viewing experience of the Japanese Zen Garden and Kaizen Academy at Ahmedabad Management Association (AMA).
Optimistic about a positive long-term outlook for Japanese investments in Gujarat and India, Fukahori said that investments are likely to pour into the state during the VGGS in automobile manufacturing.
“Big automobile companies have already invested in Gujarat and may be looking for second or third phase of investments. However, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) companies such as auto ancillary units may consider entering India and Gujarat,” said the consul general of Japan in Mumbai.
Fukahori also said that ‘China+1’ strategy adopted by manufacturers world over could drive investments into India. “Because of Covid-19, there was no movement on the investment front. Many companies are looking for new manufacturing bases after China. Some companies including those from Japan will therefore come to India because it is a promising market for the future, especially after Covid-19. Compared to other states in India, Gujarat is taking the lead to attract foreign investments thanks to the promotional efforts by the state government to promote the state,” he said.
While the long-term outlook for Japanese investments in Gujarat and India is positive, Fukahori also maintained that Japanese automobile firms may be forced to take tough decisions in the short-term amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In the long-term over the next 10-20 years, business relations between Japan and India will definitely grow and the focus will be on increasing and improving production. However, after Covid-19, companies may have to take tough decisions in the short-term,” said Fukahori, adding that it may affect employment.
When asked whether downsizing production will impact employment, he said, “There are many labour problems faced by companies due to Covid-19. Individual companies have probably taken difficult decisions to lay off some of their workers. If they have to reduce the size of production, they have to reduce the size of employment as well.”