Japan commits Rs.35bn to India’s COVID-19 efforts

The Government of Japan has committed an official development assistance loan of an amount of JPY50 billion (Rs.35 billion/US$470 million) for India’s COVID-19 Crisis Emergency Response Support

August 31, 2020

This programme loan aims to support India’s efforts in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and to prepare the healthcare system to manage future epidemics and to improve system resilience.

Over the past five years, the India-Japan ties have gained strength with collaborations covering agricultural trade, precision manufacturing, workforce skilling, STEM R&D, and innovation.

In addition to the programme loan, notes were also exchanged between the two Governments for grant assistance of JPY1 billion to help with the provision of key medical equipment.

The loan agreement closely follows an international seminar by the Embassy of India, Tokyo, in May 2020 on bilateral cooperation in pharmaceutical and medical devices manufacturing.

The Government of Japan on August 31 announced a development assistance loan worth JPY50 billion (Rs.35 billion/US$470 million) for India’s COVID-19 Crisis Emergency Response Support. This programme loan, to be facilitated through the Japan International Cooperation Agency, aims to support India’s efforts in fighting COVID-19 and to prepare the health system to manage future epidemics and also to improve the resilience of India’s health systems against infectious diseases. 

With a combined GDP representing 9.3 per cent of the global total in 2019, India and Japan, with their human capital and technological prowess, respectively, are a global force to be reckoned with. Over the past five years, the India-Japan ties have gained strength with new collaborations covering agricultural trade, precision manufacturing, workforce skilling, STEM R&D, and innovation. Amid a steady expansion in commercial ties, Japan has also been involved in India’s economic development. 

In addition to the latest programme loan, notes were also exchanged between the two Governments for grant assistance of JPY1 billion. This grant-in-aid from Japan will help with the provision of key medical equipment to boost the public health and medical system in India. This will also help strengthen health care facilities managing critical patients suffering from COVID-19. The latest assistance closely follows an international seminar on India-Japan cooperation in pharmaceutical manufacturing.

An international webinar, organized by the Embassy of India, Tokyo, on May 22, had invited Japanese companies to invest in the Indian pharmaceuticals and medical devices industry. ​The event, titled “Medical Devices and API sector: Challenges & Emerging Opportunities,” aimed to boost business and trade collaboration between India and Japan in the post-COVID-19 crisis. India’s pharmaceutical industry, the largest provider of generic drugs globally, has been a leading supplier of drugs amid the pandemic. 

The Indian pharma sector is expected to grow to US$100 billion, and the medical device market is expected to grow US$25 billion by 2025. Meanwhile, there has been an 85 per cent jump in bilateral trade over the past five years to touch nearly US$17 billion in 2019-20. Japanese investment in India, meanwhile, was reported at US$3.2 billion in 2019-20, marking the fourth-largest FDI equity inflow for that period. This wholesome bilateral engagement will be critical in the post-Coronavirus world.