Tokyo: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Thursday said companies here can offer technology to Indian firms and collaborate on various projects to strengthen the bilateral relations between the two nations.

"India is growing rapidly, while Japan has technology which it can contribute," he said at the India-Japan Business Summit jointly organised by CII and Japanese industry chamber Keidanren here.

There is a potential to further strengthen the bilateral relationship, and the private sector in both the countries is working on building stronger ties in trade and investment.

Bilateral trade between India and Japan was USD 13.82 billion in 2010-11. India's exports to Japan mainly includes petroleum, gems and jewellery, transport equipment and machinery, while imports include iron and steel, electronic goods, chemicals and metals.

The two countries have signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. Both the sides expect that it would boost bilateral trade to USD 25 billion by 2014.

Talking about Japan's collaboration in Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) which envisages the establishment of several industrial cities across seven states, Noda said, "We have a great wish to cooperate in Dedicated Freight Corridor."

Japan is now looking at closer economic ties with the world's second-most populous nation to revitalise its economy after the March 2011 earthquake that triggered a massive tsunami causing widespread devastation.

Noda said in Japan's economic reconstruction, iron-ore is an important raw-material. "We import iron-ore from India and also we are able to see renewal of it (contracts for exports from India)."

India's state-owned trading giant MMTC has inked pacts with five Japanese companies including Nippon Steel Corporation, JFE Steel Corporation and Nisshin Steel to supply 2.3 million tonnes of iron ore per annum for a period of three years. Besides, the company would export iron-ore to South Korean major Posco.

The supply of iron ore, although in smaller quantities, has been a core element in the bilateral ties with Japan which would further strengthen the relations.

MMTC's earlier contract to supply iron ore for five years to Japanese firms had expired on March 31, 2011 and was pending as price negotiations had not taken place.

India, the third-largest global exporter of iron ore, had shipped 97.64 MT iron ore in the 2010-11, down from 117.3 MT in 2009-10.

(Agencies)

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