Related Topics: International Relations, Act Far East Policy
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched ‘Act Far East’ policy and asserted that India will walk shoulder-to-shoulder with Russia in its development of the Far East as he announced a $ one billion line of credit for the development of the resource-rich region.
- PM has made the announcement while speaking at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.
- PM is in Russia to participate in the 20th India-Russia annual summit with President Putin and the fifth meeting of the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF).
What is Act Far East Policy?
- The policy aims to tap Russia’s Far East region’s resources potential and also find opportunities for skilled workers to find employment in this region.
- ‘Act Far East’ is said to be an extension to India’s Act East policy.
- The focus of the Act East policy, which began as a “Look East policy” — that was launched by the former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao in 1991 — was to shift the country’s trading focus from the west and neighbour to the booming South East Asian countries.
Eastern Economic Forum
- The Forum was established by decree of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin in 2015 to support the economic development of Russia’s Far East and to expand international cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.
- In accordance with the Decree, the Eastern Economic Forum takes place each year in Vladivostok.
- It serves as a platform for the discussion of key issues in the world economy, regional integration, and the development of new industrial and technological sectors.
- PM Modi became the first Indian prime minister to visit the Russian Far East Region and was the Chief Guest at the Eastern Economic Forum.
India’s Investment in Russia
- Indian firms have invested over $7 billion in taking stake in Russian oil and gas fields.
- India ventured into Russia when its flagship overseas firm ONGC Videsh in 2001 acquired a 20 per cent stake in Sakhalin-1 oil and gas field in Far East Russia.
- OVL later bought Imperial Energy, which has fields in Siberia, as also stakes in Vankor oilfield in eastern Siberia.
- IOC and its partners have picked up 9 per cent stake in a separate Taas-Yuryakh oilfield in East Siberia.
[Source: The Hindu, Economic Times, Firstpost]