September 05, 2019
Excellency President Putin,
Prime Minister Abe,
Prime Minister Mahathir,
In the calm and light environment of Vladivostok, the morning light spreads throughout and energizes the whole world. I am confident that this brainstorming will not only give a high status but will also give new energy and momentum to the welfare efforts of the entire human race.
I am grateful to my friend Putin for making me a part of this important occasion. The President had given me this invitation before the General Election of India. 130 crore Indians pledged confidence in me and your invitation also got their trust and approval.
Friends, two years ago President Putin invited me to the St. Petersburg Economic Forum. From the frontier of Europe to the gateway to pacific, I have completed the Trans- Siberian trip. Vladivostok is a confluence of Euroasia and pacific, showcasing opportunities for arctic and northern sea routes. About 3/4 of its territory is Asia.
Far east reinforces the Asian identity of this great country. The region is almost twice the size of India, with a population of only 6 million. But this region is rich in natural resources like minerals, oil and gas.
The people here have overcome the challenges of nature with tireless hard work, courage and innovation laying the basis of a golden future. There are no area; Art, science, literature, sports and industry or adventure where the people of Far-East have not achieved success. At the same time, they have also created many opportunities for Russia and friends of Russia.
Frozen land has been transformed into a flower bed and has laid the foundation for a golden future. Yesterday I saw the “Street of the Far- East” exhibition with President Putin. The diversity of the people and the confidence of technology has greatly impressed me. I feel that 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. Even then and before that there was a lot of trust between India and Russia. Even in the time of Soviet Russia when other foreigners were banned from coming here, Vladivostok was open to Indian citizens and many types of equipment for development work reached India through Vladivostok and today this partnership tree is deepening its roots. Happiness is becoming a support for the people of both countries. India has made significant investments in the energy sector and other natural resources like Diamond here. Sakhalin’s oil fields are a classic example of the success of Indian investment.
President Putin’s attachment to the Far East and his vision has brought unprecedented opportunities not only for this region, but also for Russia’s partners like India. He has declared the development of Russian Far- East a national priority for the 21st century. In his holistic approach here and in every aspect of life be it economy, or education, health, sports, culture or communication, trade or tradition there is a serious effort to make everyone better. On one hand, they have opened the way of investment and on the other hand have given equal attention to social sectors. I am myself impressed with this vision and am sharing it. India wants to join Russia in this visionary journey step by step. Based on our experience, one can say that the vision of the President will surely succeed for rapid, balanced and inclusive development of Far- East and Vladivostok because they are realistic and behind this is the immense talent of valuable resources and people. His vision reflects love and respect for this region and the people here. In India too, we are engaged in building a new India with the mantra of Sab ka Saath, Sab ka Vikas, Sab Ka Vishwash. We are trying our best to make India a $ 5 trillion economy by 2024.
It is a historic opportunity to combine the fast growing India and its talent in a “one and one eleven” manner. Friends, with this motivation we made unprecedented preparations for our participation in the Eastern Economic Forum. Many Ministers, Chief Ministers of four states and about 150 business leaders have come here. They met the President’s Special Envoy, all eleven Governors of Far- East 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 were about 50 business agreements in many fields.
They are expected to invest many Billion Dollars.
India will provide one billion dollar line of credit to further contribute to the development of Far-East. This is the first time that we are giving line of credit to a particular region of a country. My Government’s Act East Policy has actively engaged East Asia and today’s announcement will prove to be the take-off point of Act Far East and it is my firm belief that this step is also adding a new dimension to our economic diplomacy. We will become active partners in the development of friendly countries according to their priorities.
The values of India’s ancient civilization have taught us to take as much as we need from nature. We believe in the promotion of natural resources. This association with nature has been an important part of our existence and development for centuries.
The leaders of the countries where Indian diaspora is present always praise the labor, honesty, discipline and loyalty of Indians whenever I meet them. Indian companies, traders have contributed to the development of a number of sectors around the world. Wealth Creation has also been done. Also, Indians and our companies have always respected local sensibilities and culture. I am sure that the money, sweat, talent and professionalism of Indians will bring rapid development in Far-East. I invite all the 11 Governors of Far-East to come to India to take forward the best results that India has achieved in the Eastern Economic Forum.
I and President Putin have set ambitious targets for Indo-Russian cooperation. We have added new dimensions and diversified them in our relations. By bringing the relationship outside the government domain, it has led to solid cooperation among the private industries.
They have been taken out of the capitals to states and regions. We have built and modeled cooperation in every field in the mould of our Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership. Together we will cross the distances of space and will also bring prosperity from the depths of the sea. We are about to start a new round of cooperation in the Indo Pacific Region. When the ship starts sailing between Vladivostok and Chennai, when Vladivostok will become the springboard of India in the market of North-East Asia, then India-Russia partnership will deepen and flourish. Then far-east and Eurasian union will form a confluence of open, free and inclusive indo-pacific. Our relations will have a strong foundation in this area based on rule-based order, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity and avoidance of interference in other matters.
The famous philosopher and author Tolstoy was greatly influenced by immense knowledge of the Vedas and loved this sentence in particular.
“Verse in Sanskrit”
He said this in his own words, 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 Gandhiji left indelible effects on each other. Let us further strengthen the shared inspiration of India and Russia, become deeper partners in each other’s progress. Work together for the shared region 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 and friendship and respect for India here. Even today, I am going from here to take the precious gift of the same feelings and resolve for deep cooperation. I would like to express my special thanks to my friend President Putin. Whenever we meet, we meet with an open heart and a lot of time. Yesterday, in the midst of his many engagements, he spent many hours with me at different places and stayed together till 1.00 in the night. Not only for me, but the love that he has towards India is reflected in him.
I see another cultural similarity here and in India. In my home state in Gujarat we don’t say Bye-Bye, instead of Bye-Bye we say Aaun-ju and it means – “please visit again” and here in Russia they say – “Dasvidanaya”. So I say to you all Aaun-Ju, Dasvidanaya.
Thank you very much!
Disclaimer: PM’s speech was delivered in Hindi. This is an approximate translation of the speech.