Japan-India Relations Get Big Boost With Startup Hub, IT Corridor, And More

In line with their 2017 pledge to strengthen cooperation in various areas, the Indian and Japanese governments have signed multiple contracts to support relations, businesses, and investments between the two countries.

During the 13th Annual Bilateral Summit, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, along with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, continued to show a commitment towards working together along with giving evidence of strategic cooperation between the two countries.

The India-Japan Vision Statement 2018 highlighted the achievements of the past year and noted significant plans for the coming years.

Here’s a look at some interesting aspects of the startup ecosystems of India and Japan:

Startup Hub between India and Japan: Following up on September 2017 resolutions, the Prime Ministers launched India-Japan Startup-hub, which was signed during the visit of METI Minister Seko to India in May this year that included the establishment of a Startup Hub in Bengaluru stationed at JETRO as an interface between respective startups and firms for more collaboration such as by identifying selected Indian startups for Japanese market and for potential Japanese investors. Also, the online platform of Japan-India Startup Hub established by Invest India will serve the same.

Talent Facilitation: Under India-Japan Cooperation on Digital Partnership, the governments will consider initiating and also expanding already existing mechanisms for facilitating training opportunities and Internship programs, organizing Job Fairs (Japan career fair), introducing the StartUp Program for highly skilled Indian professionals (namely Japanese “Green Card” and Highly Skilled Professional VISA), expanding JEC Courses to IT and electronics firms.

Cooperation in R&D: To bring together government think-tank Niti Aayog, spearheading the National Programme for AI Research in India, and METI, focusing on promoting emerging technologies under “Society 5.0”, India and Japan signed an overarching Statement of Intent between NITI Aayog and METI on Artificial Intelligence with provision of exploring possibilities for specific institutional cooperation such as between Artificial Intelligence Research Centre of National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan and IIT Hyderabad in India.

India-Japan Business Platform: The two countries will work towards establishing an India-Japan Business Platform to enhance the exchanges between Indian and Japanese businesses toward developing industrial corridors and industrial network in the region. The two countries signed the Memorandum of Understanding between NEXI and ECGC, which is expected to promote the development of concrete India-Japan business projects in the region.

Ease of Doing Business in India: As a new initiative, METI and DIPP decided to cooperate on the development of “Advanced Model Single Window” to streamline administrative procedures in Central and State Governments of India based on the best practices in and outside India and its capacity building, thereby accelerating India’s effort to promote Ease of Doing Business in India.

India’s Global Ties: Work Together, Grow Together

With a view to working together to be able to grow together, India has been collaborating with a number of countries – the Netherlands, the UK, France, the US, Estonia, Germany, and Russia — in the last few years at various levels, especially to strengthen startups ecosystems across borders.

Here are some such collaborations:

  • In March, Estonia introduced its E-Residency programme to enable Indian startups to work in Estonia without any hassle. The scheme offers startups a government-issued digital ID, thus enabling them to open a global EU company online while working from India.
  • The Netherlands, in partnership with Invest India, launched StartupLink to address startup concerns in terms of taxes, policies, and other issues.
  • France, last year, sent a 65-member delegation to India, which discussed organising startup summits as well as incubating  shortlisted startups
  • The UK has already started a host of initiatives which include Tech Rocketship programmes,  MIDAS-Fast Five, Access India, etc, to help startups of the two countries
  • In July 2017, Modi launched a five-year technology fund – The Israel India Innovation Initiative Fund, or I4F – to strengthen the business relationship between both countries
  • In June 2017, Modi, along with Portuguese PM Antonio Costa, launched the India-Portugal International Startup Hub

As the third largest startup ecosystem in the world, India continues to support and grow with its counterparts with a view to take the Indian startup ecosystem to greater heights.

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