Japan finding ways to increase FDI

  • Japan is wooing foreign direct investment through a slew of measures such as an easier visa regime and lower corporate taxes, at a time when the proposed visa curbs continue to trouble Indian firms.

  • In a bid to attract global talent, from India and other nations, Japan has said it will soon introduce a new Green Card programme —billed as the fastest such system in the world — and expedite the granting of permanent residency to highly skilled foreign professionals.

  • The new ‘Japanese Green Card for Highly Skilled Foreign Professionals’ will substantially reduce the period of stay required.

  • before highly skilled foreign professionals can apply for permanent residence — from the current five years to just one year in cases where the applicant secures the required points.

  • Incidentally, there is a fall in native-born population in Japan, a country where foreign workers account for a minuscule 1-2% of its total workforce.

  • Currently there is an “investment imbalance” between Japan and India. The investments by Japan in India as at the end of 2015 were $14.1 billion, while investments from India into Japan were worth only $0.074 billion.

  • FDI (2015 figures) from India to Singapore ($5.27 billion), to the U.S. ($3 billion) and to the U.K. ($779 million) were much more than to Japan (just $27 million).

  • Japanese government had also said it will make the Points-based System for highly skilled foreign professionals more user-friendly by revising requirements and promoting further awareness.

  • In the case of significant investors and human resources in growth fields such as IT and regenerative medicine, Japan is looking at expediting applications for permanent residence by highly skilled foreign professionals.

  • Besides, there is a plan to reduce corporate real tax rate from 34.62% in 2014 to 29.74% in 2017. To address the issue of language barrier, Japanese laws and regulations will be translated into foreign languages.

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