India Acts Far East, announces $1 billion loan for Russia’s remote region

VLADIVOSTOK: Unveiling India’s Act Far East policy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a $1 billion Line of Credit for the remote resource-rich but less developed region of Russia.

“For the development of (Russia’s) Far East, India will give a line of credit worth $1 billion,” Mr Modi said at the Eastern Economic Forum in the port city of Vladivostok. This is the first region-specific line of credit that India is extending to any country, he said.

Placing India’s proactive engagement with Russia’s Far East region, Mr Modi said: “My government has actively engaged East Asia as part of its ‘Act East’ policy. I am confident that today’s announcement will be a take off point for (India’s) Act Far East (policy). This will also give a new dimension to our economic diplomacy,” he said.

Robustly backing President Vladimir Putin’s vision for economic resurgence of the Far East region, Mr Modi fondly recalled India’s ties with Russia’s Far East in the days of the former Soviet Union and stressed that India was the first country to open a consulate in Vladivostok. He added that Vladivostok was open to Indians even in those days, though there were restrictions on other people of other nations.

“Let us deepen the bond between India and Russia further… India is proud of the achievements of the Indian diaspora. I am sure here in the Russian Far East, too, the Indian diaspora will actively contribute to the region’s progress,” Mr Modi said.

Indian companies have signed 50 agreements worth “billions of dollars” in investments in diverse areas, including energy, health, education, skill development, mining, and timber.