Ghosn, Other Business Leaders Call For More Foreign Investment

Back to Contents of Issue: February 2003

Increase in foreign direct investment on the cards? Lets see if Koizumi can translate his words into action.

IN BRIEF: A dozen captains of industry -- including Carlos Ghosn, president of Nissan, and Minoru Makihara, chairman of Mitsubishi Corp. -- teamed with local government representatives and academics to tell prime minister Junichiro Koizumi in December that an increase in foreign direct investment would stimulate the Japanese economy.
The group, called Invest Japan Forum, set out a 12-point plan to remove obstacles to investments and introduce measures to entice foreign companies to invest.

COMMENTARY: It shouldn't take the appearance of Ghosn to convince the government that Japan needs more foreign money. The numbers look depressing enough all by themselves: Direct investment in Japan is about 1 percent of GDP, compared with 27 percent in the US and 22 in Germany, according to the forum.
According to an English newspaper, the Daily Yomiuri, the forum also urged the government to develop a system to accelerate cross-border mergers and acquisitions, to reduce corporate tax rates, to use special structural reform zones, and to shift more authority and financial resources from the central government to local governments to attract foreign companies.
Koizumi said he would like to promote FDI in Japan more actively as it would reinvigorate the economy. Let's see if he can translate words into action.

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