Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced a line of credit worth USD one billion for development of Russia's Far East region saying it will give a boost to India's economic diplomacy.
"For the development of Far East, India will give a line of credit worth USD 1 billion. My govt has actively engaged with East Asia as part of its 'Act East' policy. This will also give a new dimension to our economic diplomacy," he said addressing the plenary session of the 5th Eastern Economic Forum here.
Modi spoke as the Chief Guest at the forum at the invitastion of President Vladimir Putin and the event was also attended by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Mongolian President Khaltmagiin Battulga.
Thanking Putin his invitation, the prime minister said that the brainstorming on the occasion will not only strengthen the efforts for human welfare in Far East, but also the entire mankind.
He stressed that the relationship between India and Far East is not new but ages old.
"India is a proud and active participant in the various activities of the Eastern Economic Forum. Participation has come from top levels of government and industry," he told the delegates gathered at the Forum.
He stressed that during bilateral engagements with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a day before, the two sides set ambitious targets to enhance India-Russia bilateral ties.
"We have attached new dimensions to the relations between the two countries. India and Russia friendship isn't restricted to governmental interactions in capital cities. This is about people and close business relations. India-Russia close cooperation in military and military-technical fields is a pillar of their bilateral Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership," Modi said.
Further, paying tribute to the hard work and courage of those living in Russia's Far East region, the Prime Minister noted that the frozen land has now transformed into a massive reservoir of resources, including gas and oil fields.
The Prime Minister acknowledged that India is proud of the achievements of the Indian diaspora. "I am sure here in the Russian Far East too the Indian diaspora will make an active contribution towards the region's progress. At the core of Indian culture is to live in harmony with nature," he said.
Referring to the proposed sea route between Chennai and Vladivostok, he said this would increase maritime cooperation between the two countries.
Modi said that New Delhi is working towards building a New India on the 'mantra' of 'sabka saath sabka vikas', wherein "we are aiming to be USD five trillion economy by 2024."
Modi and Putin spent a lot of time together while visiting the 'Zvezda' Shipbuilding Complex. In a special gesture to the Prime Minister, the Russian President also accompanied the former while exploring possible areas of cooperation in shipbuilding sector.
In addition, the Prime Minister also recalled that the world will be commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi this year in October.
In a bid to strengthen India-Russia ties, the Prime Minister stated that Gandhi was greatly influenced by Leo Tolstoy's works. "This will facilitate a new era for our mutual cooperation to make the world a stable and secure region," he added.
India and Russia exchanged 15 documents ushering in new areas of cooperation including connectivity, deep-sea exploration, space, energy among others.