In an unprecedented move, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his country will provide a US$1 billion loan for the development of Russia’s Far Eastern territories.
The announcement marks the first time New Delhi has offered a line of credit to any specific region of any country.
“In order to continue and help develop the Far East, India will provide a $1 billion credit line. This is a completely unprecedented measure when we provide such a special credit line to another country,” Modi said during his speech at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok.
India's prime minister added that since the start of the forum the delegation of Indian businessmen managed to sign about 50 agreements with counterparts in Russia’s Far East in a variety of sectors from energy, mining and woodworking to healthcare and education.
“We expect that as a result we can provide investments amounting to $5 billion (€4.5 billion),” Modi stated. He also invited 11 governors of the Far East regions to visit India to strengthen economic relations between the two states. Modi voiced his admiration for the Russian president's plans for the Far East, adding that both countries will benefit from working “hand in hand” on the region’s development.
“President [Vladimir] Putin said that the development of the Far East is Russia’s national priority for the 21st century. President Putin’s approach is really inspiring. On the one hand, the region is completely open to investment, on the other hand a huge amount of attention is paid to social development,” Modi stated, noting that he “fully share[s] the vision of President Putin.”
“India wants to work hand in hand with Russia in developing this fascinating journey and [implementing] this wonderful vision,” said the prime minister. He clarified that in economic terms the two leaders have a specific goal which is for bilateral trade to triple by 2025, while forecasting India’s own economy to reach five trillion dollars by that time.
“India is developing very fast, it also has many talents, and a partnership of this kind with the region of the Far East is a historic opportunity that allows us to say 1 plus 1 equals 11,” Modi said.
The Indian prime minister was invited to Russia as the main guest of the EEF, held in Russia's far eastern city of Vladivostok, where he held bilateral talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. This year, some 8,000 guests from across the globe are attending the forum, which is hosting over 70 various business events.