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QUESTION NO.26 ACT EAST POLICY

February 02, 2017

RAJYA SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.26
TO BE ANSWERED ON 02.02.2017

ACT EAST POLICY

26. SHRIMATI RANEE NARAH:

Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:

(a) whether any programmes/projects have been taken up under the Act East Policy during the last two years; and

(b) if so, the details thereof?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
(SHRI M. J. AKBAR)

(a) & (b) India’s Look East Policy (LEP) has been a major pillar of our foreign policy since the early 1990s. In the second half of 2014, LEP was upgraded to Act East Policy which focuses on the extended neighbourhood in the Asia-Pacific region. The policy which was originally conceived as an economic initiative, has gained political, strategic and cultural dimensions including establishment of institutional mechanisms for dialogue and cooperation. The key principles and objectives of ''Act East Policy” is to promote economic cooperation, cultural ties and develop strategic relationship with countries in the Asia-Pacific region through continuous engagement at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels thereby providing enhanced connectivity to the States of North Eastern Region with other countries in our neighbourhood.

We have upgraded our relations to strategic partnership with Singapore in November, 2015. Thus we now have strategic partnership with Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan, Republic of Korea (ROK), Australia, Singapore and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and forged close ties with all countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Further, apart from ASEAN, ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and East Asia Summit (EAS), we have also been actively engaged in regional fora such as Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC) and Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).

A Line of Credit of US $ 1 billion has been offered by our Prime Minister at the ASEAN-India Summit for enhancing physical and digital connectivity between India and ASEAN. A flagship ASEAN-India project is the establishment of a Tracking, Telemetry and Data Reception Centre and Data Processing Facility near Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. ISRO has already initiated the project.

In addition, various plans at bilateral and regional levels include steady efforts to develop and strengthen connectivity of Northeast with the ASEAN region through trade, culture, people-to-people contacts and physical infrastructure (road, airport, telecommunication, power, etc.). Some of the major ongoing projects include Kaladan Multi Modal Transit Transport Project, the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway Project, Rhi-Tiddim Road Project and Border Haats.

Projects initiated in CMLV countries include –

Cambodia

• Implementation of 10 Quick Impact Projects
• Renovation of India – Cambodia Friendship School (USD 2.47 lakhs)
• Second phase of Ta-Prohm temple restoration and conservation project completed in July 2015 and subsequently third phase was commenced (INR 29.32 crore)
• Conservation and Restoration of Preah Vihear Temple
• Extension of Study of Ground Water Resources in Kampong Speu province
• USD 145000 for setting up of English Language Training Center at Royal School of Administration of Cambodia.

Laos

• Restoration and Conservation of Vat Phu Temple is at the completion stage
• Two irrigation projects in Champasak province were handed over to Laos
• Commencement of fresh lines of credit for setting up Champasak Agriculture University (USD 72 millions)

Vietnam

• Restoration and Conservation of My Son Temple was commenced (INR 16 crore)
• Implementation of 4 Quick Impact Projects.
• Completion of High-Tech Crime Laboratory in Hanoi (INR 2 Crore)
• Completion of Vietnam-India Centre for English Language Training in Nha Trang in 2016 and announcement of USD 5 million for setting up software park at Nha Trang
• USD 100 million Defence LOC for procurement of high speed Patrol vessels is being implemented
• Announcement of a fresh line of credit (USD 500 million) for Defence procurement

Two summits of the Forum for India-Pacific Island Cooperation (FIPIC) were held in Suva, Fiji (November 2014) and Jaipur, India (August 2015). Outcomes of the two Summits include:

Two major projects for all 14 PICs is underway. These are (i) Solar Electrification of 2,800 houses (200 houses in each country) at a cost of approximately Rs. 10.25 crores and (ii) Establishment of Centres of Excellence in Information Technology in each country at a cost of approximately Rs. 39 crores.

Apart from these two projects, several other projects have been initiated in PICs.

• A LOC of USD 70 Million was signed with Fiji to upgrade Sugar Mills in Fiji.
• Operationalisation of grant of USD2.2 million for promotion of "Small Business and Village Enterprises” in Fiji has been successfully implemented. The first tranche of Fiji $ 1 Million (USD 0.47 Million) has been paid to Fiji.
• India assisted Fiji by granting USD 1 Million and supplying 45 tonnes of relief material following a Category 5 Cyclone Winston that hit Fiji in February 2016.
• 5 tonnes of vegetable seeds were provided to Fiji in October 2016 at a cost of Rs. 2.63 Crores.
• Rashtrapatiji visited Papua New Guinea from 28-30 April 2016. During the visit two proposals were initiated; (i) LOC of USD 100 Million for infrastructure development, (ii) Setting up a Centre for Excellence in Information Technology.
• India gave a grant of USD 910,700/- to Niue for establishing a 4G/LTE mobile network in Niue.
• India gave a grant of USD 190,000/- to Vanuatu for providing IT equipment for 76 schools in Vanuatu.
• India gave a grant of USD 200,000/- to Vanuatu for relief work following Cyclone Pam in 2015.
• India gave a grant of USD 690,846 to Cook Islands for Community Development Projects.
• India gave a grant of USD 450,000/- to Nauru in 2015 to build a Sea Wall.
• India gave a grant of USD 200,000/- to Micronesia for its Integrated Agriculture Census.
• India gave a grant of USD 199,680/- to Marshall Islands for the Atoll Community Coral & Clean Project and another USD 100,000/- for recovery efforts following flash floods.
• India gave a grant of USD 1.3 million for renovation of 20 Schools in Fiji.

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