India is currently ranked 63rd in the global “Ease of Doing Business” index for 2019 issued by the World Bank. The complex framework of Indian laws coupled with a lack of certainty and uniformity in their implementation makes doing business in India challenging for Japanese companies who are typically conservative and traditionally risk-averse.
Over the years, the Indian Government has taken numerous steps to liberalize the economy and introduce new reforms to promote an investment-friendly environment for Japanese and other foreign investors. The warm and cordial ties between India and Japan have also added heft to a closer economic partnership between our respective countries.
While the economic, legal, and policy reforms are encouraging, as a law firm that regularly advises Japanese investors, we find that India continues to be a difficult terrain due to a multitude of challenges. These include problems regularly faced by Japanese companies relating to corruption (especially at the lower rungs of local police stations and government departments), taxation (both direct and indirect), labour laws, intellectual property rights, land acquisition as well as contract enforcement.
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