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.