Act East Forum gets push with upcoming summit
Reportedly, as a boost to India’s ‘Act East Policy’ and Japan’s ‘Free and Open Indo Pacific Strategy’, the first annual Indo-Japan summit will be held from December 15 to December 16. The gathering of the two nations is expected to set the ball rolling on their Act East forum given that Japan is planning investments of around Rs 130 billion in the eight North Eastern states of India.
It is reported that Japan is currently weighing investments towards numerous projects in the region, including – a water supply project in Guwahati, a road network in Assam-Meghalaya and forest management and agriculture projects in other states of the region. It is estimated that new plans and blueprints will be announced at the upcoming summit for more projects in the area – given its close proximity to Southeast Asia.
Recently, on November 30, the two countries participated in a dialogue where the respective defence and foreign ministers underlined various points of discussion – top of which is reported to be Japan’s involvement in the North East region of India.
Reportedly, Japan’s involvement in providing aid for developing North East began in 2011 with the overseas development assistance (ODA) but actually picked up post 2014.
Additionally, as reported, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a memorandum with the Indian Government in 2017 with the aim of providing $610 million for the first phase of the North East Road Network Connectivity Improvement Project for projects in Meghalaya and Mizoram. The Act East Forum was established subsequently with the purpose of economic enhancement in the region.