Arun Jaitley significantly ramped up India’s ties with Japan in one of his last major foreign visits before handing over the defence portfolio to Cabinet colleague Nirmala Sitharaman.

India’s outgoing defence minister, Arun Jaitley, left no doubts about India’s close ties with its neighbour Japan during a recently concluded tour of the country in early September.

The bilateral Defence Ministerial Meeting in Tokyo saw Jaitley and his Japanese counterpart, Itsunori Onodera, clinch a range of significant tie-ups in the field of defence cooperation, combat exercises and exchanges and counter-terrorism. The significant ramping up of ties is undoubtedly being viewed as a counter-balance to the increasingly volatile situation in the region, with India’s continued tensions with China over Doklam and North Korea’s increasingly belligerent overtures with missile tests.

The Indian textiles sector has received much-needed attention but its future continues to hang in balance unless bold initiatives begin to pay off.

The Indian textile industry is the country’s oldest, going back five millennia, and its modern day avatar employs more than 45 million people, making it the country’s second largest employer after agriculture.

Over the last couple of decades, however, this industry has been facing global and domestic headwinds that are threatening its continued wellbeing. But governmental and industry efforts to overcome these challenges also offer considerable upsides and the proposed renewal of the industry promises to rejuvenate it and make it ready for the challenges of the 21st century.

A country-specific export strategy could turn the tide in India’s favour in the sector, explains an industry expert.

The world apparel trade stood at $445 billion in 2015 down by 8 per cent from previous year. India’s apparel exports grew by 3 per cent in 2015 whereas that of Bangladesh and Vietnam grew by 8 per cent and 16 per cent respectively in the same year. After the phasing out of quotas in 2005, Bangladesh and Vietnam grabbed the opportunity and their apparel exports increased rapidly. Bangladesh surpassed India in apparel exports in 2008 and Vietnam in 2012 as can be seen from the chart below and their apparel exports have been consistently growing and have been higher than India’s exports throughout.

Japan’s NTT eyes India growth

Japan’s NTT Communications Corporation (NTT Com), an ICT solutions and international communications business within the NTT Group, has announced the launch of its international data network services in India through its affiliate NTT Communications India Network Services (NTTCINS).

The acquisition of this licence in India follows the initiation of construction of the company’s two new data centres in Mumbai and Bangalore, through Netmagic, a subsidiary of NTT Com and one of the leading managed hosting and cloud service providers in India.

NTT Com President and CEO Tetsuya Shoji said: “India has been a key strategic market for us with the accelerating shift of IT services from traditional enterprise data centres into the cloud-based services.

“For the past few years, our business in India has consistently grown over 35 per cent annually. With further expansion of data center foot print and addition of international data network services to our service portfolio, we aim to meet the growing market needs for Mobility, e-Commerce, Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud and Big Data.”

Britain beat off tough competition from Japan to hold on to its position as the largest G20 investor and biggest job creator in India, a new report revealed.

Between 2000 and 2016, the UK invested $24.07 billion in India and created 371,000 jobs, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) finds in its 2017 ‘Sterling Assets India’ report. Japan by comparison invested around $23.76 billion, followed by the US at $19.38 billion as the top G20 investors into India.