Posted On: 05 SEP 2019 7:48PM by PIB Delhi
Excellency President Putin,
Prime Minister Abe,
Prime Minister Mahathir,
It is a pleasant experience to have a dialgoue with you in the quiet and light environment of Vladivostok. The morning light spreads from here and makes the whole world energized. I am confident our brainstorming today will give a new energy and a new momentum not only to the Far East but also to the efforts being made for the welfare of the entire human race. I am grateful to my friend President Putin for making me a part of this important occasion. The President had extended me this invitation before the General Election of India. 130 crore Indians expressed their confidence in me and your invitation sealed that trust with a stamp. Two years ago, President Putin invited me to the St. Petersburg Economic Forum. From the Frontier of Europe to the Gateway to the Pacific, in a way I have completed the whole trans-Siberian journey. Vladivostok is a confluence of Eurasia and the Pacific. This presents opportunities for the Arctic and the Northern Sea routes. About three quarters of Russia’s land is Asia. The Far East reinforces the Asian identity of this great country. The region is approximately twice the size of India, with a population of only 6 million, but this region is rich in natural resources like minerals and oil and gas. People here have overcome the challenges of nature with their tireless hard work, courage and innovation. Not only this, there is no such area of Art, Science, Literature, Sports, Industry and adventure activity in which the people of Far East, the residents of Vladivostok have not achieved success. At the same time they have created many opportunities for Russia and its friends. By transforming Frozen Land into a flower bed the base for a golden future has been prepared. Yesterday, along with President Putin, I visited the ‘Street of the Far East’ exhibition. The diversity, the talent of the people and the development of technology here has greatly impressed me. I feel there are immense possibilities of progress and cooperation.
The relationship between India and Far East is not of today, it is very old. India was the first country to open its consulate in Vladivostok. At that time and even earlier also there was a lot of trust between India and Russia. Even during Soviet Russia when there were restrictions on other foreigners visiting there, Vladivostok was open to Indian citizens. A lot of defense and development equipment used to reach India through Vladivostok and today this partnership tree is deepening its roots. It is becoming the pillar of prosperity for the people of both the countries. India has made significant investments here in the energy sector and other natural resources like diamonds. Sakhalin’s oil fields are a classic example of the success of Indian investment.
President Putin’s affinity to the Far East and his vision has brought unprecedented opportunities not only for the region but also for its partners like India. He has declared the development of Russian Far East as the National Priority for 21st Century. His holistic approach here is a motivating effort to make every aspect of life better, be it economy or education, health or sports, culture or communication, trade or tradition. On the one hand, he has opened avenues for investment and on the other, equal attention and importance has also been given to social sectors. I myself have been deeply impressed by his vision and share this as well. India wants to walk step by step with Russia in this visionary journey. On the basis of my experience, I can say that President Putin’s vision for rapid, balanced and inclusive development of the Far East and Vladivostok will surely succeed because it is realistic and it is backed by its valuable resources and the immense talent of people here. His vision reflects respect and love for this region and for the people here. In India too, we are engaged in building a new India with the mantra of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas. (Together with development for all with trust of all). We are trying to fulfil our resolve of making India a $ 5 trillion economy by 2024. Partnership of rapidly growing India and its talent with this region is a historic ‘one plus one equals to eleven’opportunity.
With this motivation, unprecedented preparations were made for our participation in the Eastern Economic Forum. Many Ministers, Chief Ministers of four states and about 150 business leaders came here. They met President’s Special Envoy for Far East, its all the 11 governors and their business leaders. Russian ministers and business leaders from Far East also visited India. I am happy to say that these efforts are bringing very good results. From energy to health, education to skill development, mining to timber, there have been about 50 business agreements in many areas. They are expected to invest several billion dollars.
India will provide a $ 1 billion line of credit to further contribute to the development of the Far East. This is the first time that we are giving a line of credit to a particular region of a country. My Government’s Act East Policy has actively engaged with the East Asia. Today’s announcement will prove to be the take-off point of the Act Far East policy and it is my firm belief that this step adds a new dimension to our economic diplomacy. We will be active participants in the development of the regions of our friendly countries according to their priorities.
Ancient Indian civilization values have taught us that we must take from nature only that much what we need. We believe in the promotion of natural resources. For centuries this very association with nature has been an integral part of our existence and development.
The leaders of the countries where the Indian diaspora is present always praise the labor, honesty, discipline and loyalty of Indians whenever I meet them. Indian companies, businessmen have contributed to the development of so many sectors around the worldand helped in wealth creation. Indians and our companies have always respected the local sensibilities and the culture also. I am sure that the money, sweat, talent and professionalism of Indians will bring rapid development in the Far East. I invite all the 11 Governors of the Far East to visit India to take forward the excellent results that India has achieved in the Eastern Economic Forum.
I and President Putin have set ambitious targets for the Indo-Russian cooperation. We have added new dimensions to our relationship and have diversified them. Bringing the relationship outside the domain of government domain has led to solid cooperation among the private industries. We have taken the relations out of the capital brought them to the States and regions. We have expanded and modeled cooperation in every field as per the framework of our Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership. Together we will cross the distances of the space and also bring out prosperity from the depths of the sea.
We are about to start a new era of cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. When the ships will start sailing between Vladivostok and Chennai, and when Vladivostok will become India’s springboard in North East Asia market, India-Russia partnership will further deepen and flourish. Then the Far East will become a confluence of the Eurasian Union on one side and the open, free and inclusive Indo-Pacific on the other. Our relations in this region will have a strong foundation of rule based order, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity and abstaining from interfering in the internal affairs of a country.
Famous philosopher and author Tolstoy was greatly influenced by the immense knowledge of the Vedas of India and he was immensely fond of this sentence. एकम सत विप्रःबहुधा वदन्ति।। In his words he expressed it like this –
“All that exists is one. People call that one by different names.”
This year the whole world is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Tolstoy and Gandhi Ji left an indelible influence on each other. Let us strengthen this shared inspiration of India and Russiaand become greater partners in each other’s progress. Let’s work together for our shared vision and a stable and secure future of the world. This will be the beginning of a new chapter in our partnership. Whenever I have come to Russia, I have found love, friendship and respect for India here. Even today, I am going from here with the precious gift of these feelings and a resolve for a deeper cooperation. I would like to express my special thanks to my friend President Putin. Whenever we meet, we meet with very open hearts and dedicate a lot of time. Yesterday, in the midst of all his engagements, he spent many hours with me at different places and we stayed together till one o’clock in the night. It reflects the love that he has not only for me but towards India also. I see another cultural similarity here and in India. In my home state of Gujarat, instead of Bye-Bye, we do not say Bye-Bye, instead we say, Aavajo, which means – come back soon. Here it is said – Dasvidania.
So I say to everyone – Aavajo, Dasvidania.
Thank you very much!