India, Japan plan to develop ‘Pacific, Indian Ocean’ corridor

Source: The Economic Times, Nov 06, 2016

NEW DELHI: India and Japan hope to put in a place a network connecting the Pacific to the Indian Ocean as they eye joint development of infrastructure and capacity building projects in this vast region, with a special focus on Africa, in the backdrop of China’s growing ambitions across Asia and Africa.

The mechanism aimed at contributing to Asian stability connecting two oceans is expected to be put in place when PM Narendra Modi visits Tokyo for the annual summit with PM Shinzo Abe from November 10-12. A key aim of this mechanism is also to utilise India’s political network in Africa and Japanese funds to finance a variety of projects across the continent, people familiar with the development said. While top Indian leaders have made several visits crisscrossing Africa this year, Abe was in Nairobi in August where he announced a $30 billion public and private support for infrastructure development, education and healthcare expansion in the continent over the next three years beginning in 2016. This amount is in addition to $32 billion that Japan pledged to Africa over a five-year period in 2013.

India, which announced a $10 billion line of credit at last year’s India-Africa mega summit in Delhi, has been involved in several development and capacity building projects across the continent, besides making investments across sectors from agriculture to telecom. It is also focusing on enhancing strategic partnership with Japan including defence ties.

In the coming months India and Japan are expected to identify projects in Africa where they can join hands, the people cited earlier said.

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