Monday, January 16, 2012

Freight and Logistics Interests Eye Japanese and Indian Cooperation

High Level Talks to Set Up Rail and Road Links
Shipping News Feature

INDIA – JAPAN – A busy week in New Delhi with meetings between Indian Government officials and a trade delegation from their Japanese counterparts intended to pave the way for infrastructure developments which will have a major impact on parts of the freight, logistics and road haulage sectors.

Talks began last Thursday between the Japanese policy bureau delegation, led by Mr. Takeshi Maeda, Minister for Land, Infrastructure, Transport & Tourism (MLIT), and Dr. CP Joshi, Minister of Road Transport and Highways to formalise details for a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) with the intention of exchanging technical knowledge and expertise in the Road Transportation and Highways sector including capacity building and advanced technology for a road transport management system and an intelligent transport system.

Japanese companies have been participating in a National Highways Development Programme (NHDP) of India as supervision consultants. Four projects have already been completed where their performance has been seen as satisfactory by the Ministry. India is also a beneficiary of Japanese cooperation through Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Under discussion was the proposed highway to run between Bangalore and Chennai which Dr Joshi said the Japanese were ‘very keen’ to be involved with. Mr Maeda also met with Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi to discuss setting up a top level working party to make use of Japan’s extensive high speed rail experience.

The Japanese delegation was with regard to an official State visit by their premier Mr. Yoshihiko Noda during which a joint statement was issued by the Prime Ministers of both countries confirming a mutual desire to press forward with a bilateral infrastructure co-operation program.

Photo: Messrs Trivedi and Maeda in discussion.