BY AJAY KAUL
Vladivostok (Russia), Sep 5 (IANS) In a first-of-its kind move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced a Line of Credit (LoC) of $1 billion for Russia’s Far East region while expressing commitment to work with Russia in all areas for mutual development and progress.
Modi, while addressing the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) here as the Chief Guest, said that India will actively contribute to ensure the success of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s vision of developing the Far East region.
Modi said that around 50 agreements have already been signed between the two sides since Wednesday, which will convert into investments worth billions of dollars.
Modi, in his address in the presence of Putin, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed and Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga, spoke about India’s ‘Act East’ policy for developing relations with East Asian nations, saying that it got a new dimension today by turning into ‘Act Far East’ policy.
“This new dimension will help in our economic diplomacy,” the Indian Prime Minister said.
Modi said that he saw “unlimited opportunities” in the energy and mineral rich Russian Far East.
“We will become active participants in the development and progress of Russia’s Far East, a vision being pursued by my close friend Putin,” Modi said.
While announcing the LoC of $1 billion, he noted that it was the first time that India was doing so for any region of a country. India has been offering LoC to various countries.
He said India has identified areas like energy, health, mining and timber for investments in the Russian Far East, which has huge potential.
To underline the importance India is giving to Putin’s vision for the Far East, Modi said his government made “unprecedented preparations” in the run up to the EEF and mentioned the recent visit to the region by a 150-member delegation led by Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and comprising four Chief Ministers.
The delegation held talks with Governors of all the 11 provinces of the Far East, which yielded “good results”, Modi said.
He also invited these Governors to India to take forward the discussions in exploring more possibilities.
Hailing Putin for opening the region for investments while ensuring social development, Modi said he feels “inspired” and shares his vision.
“India wants to walk with Russia… Let us be partners. Let us work together,” he said, while invoking Mahatma Gandhi and the great Russian author Leo Tolstoy.
He expressed confidence that Putin’s vision will succeed, like his own vision of ‘Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’.
The fifth edition of EEF, a three-day event hosted by Putin, started on Wednesday. IANS is a media partner of the event.
BY AJAY KAUL