In­dia, Ja­pan Team up for NE

Ja­pan to ex­tend loan of ₹ 2,239 cr to im­prove NH-40 and build by­pass on NH-54

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

New Delhi: A me­moran­dum of un­der­stand­ing to set up In­dia Ja­pan Act East Fo­rum with an aim to marry In­dia’s Act East Pol­icy with Ja­pan’s Free and Open Asia-Pa­cific strat­egy in the back­drop of China’s One Belt One Road ini­tia­tive is among the ma­jor agree­ments signed dur­ing Ja­panese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe’s visit to In­dia for the 12th Indo-Ja­pan an­nual summit, ex­perts said.

The fo­rum will en­hance con­nec­tiv­ity and pro­mote de­vel­op­men­tal projects in In­dia’s Northeast re­gion in an ef­fi­cient and ef­fec­tive man­ner, ac­cord­ing to the MoU signed fol­low­ing the summit in Gandhinagar on Thurs­day.

Ja­pan has a his­toric con­nec­tion to the Northeast and is among the few coun­tries that In­dia has al­lowed a pres­ence in the eight land­locked states which are the coun­try’s gate­way to the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions mem­bers.

In­dia and Ja­pan on Thurs­day also signed a doc­u­ment on Ja­panese loan and aid for high­way de­vel­op­ment in the Northeast that can com­ple­ment In­dia’s con­nec­tiv­ity ini­tia­tives in Bangladesh, Myan­mar and be­yond, be­sides BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, In­dia, Nepal) and BIMSTEC (Bay of Ben­gal Ini­tia­tive for Multi-Sec­toral Tech­ni­cal and Eco­nomic Co­operati o n) Mo­tor Vehi cl e Agree­ments.

Ja­pan will ex­tend a loan of ₹ 2,239 crore to In­dia for ‘North East Road Net­work Con­nec­tiv­ity Im­prove­ment Project’ to im­prove the Na­tional High­way 40 (NH-40) and con­struct a by­pass on NH-54 in the Northeast. The project is ex­pected to con­trib­ute to the im­prove­ment of the in­tra-re­gional and in­ter­na­tional con­nec­tiv­ity through re­gional eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

Ja­pan is keen to ex­pand in­fra­struc­ture projects in South­east Asia amid China’s OBOR ini­tia­tive and, along with In­dia, it is ex­plor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to de­velop projects in ASEAN. This is part of Indo-Ja­pan cor­ri­dor con­ceived last year for the In­doPa­cific re­gion that also ex­tends to East­ern Africa un­der Asia Africa Growth Cor­ri­dor, an ini­tia­tive that would pro­vide an al­ter­na­tive to OBOR, which is be­ing im­ple­mented in a non-trans­par­ent fash­ion dic­tated by China’s in­ter­ests.

In­dia and Ja­pan agree that im­prov­ing con­nec­tiv­ity be­tween Asia and Africa is vi­tal for achiev­ing pros­per­ity of the en­tire re­gion. The two coun­tries have de­cided to seek syn­ergy be­tween In­dia’s ‘Act East’ Pol­icy and Ja­pan’s ‘ Ex­panded Part­ner­ship for Qual­ity In­fra­struc­ture’, by closely co­or­di­nat­ing, bi­lat­er­ally and with other part­ners, for bet­ter re­gional in­te­gra­tion and im­proved con­nec­tiv­ity as well as in­dus­trial net­works based on prin­ci­ples of mu­tual con­sul­ta­tion and trust.

De­vel­op­ment of the Northeast is a pri­or­ity for In­dia and a key to pro­mote its Act East Pol­icy. Ja­pan has also placed a spe­cial em­pha­sis on co­op­er­a­tion in the Northeast for its ge­o­graph­i­cal im­por­tance of con­nect­ing In­dia to South­east Asia and his­tor­i­cal ties (Ja­panese forces had fought Bri­tish in Ma­nipur dur­ing World War II), ac­cord­ing to in­formed of­fi­cials.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.