Eastern Economic Forum Current Affairs - 2019

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India to attend GFSEC ministerial meeting

Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel Shri Dharmendra Pradhan is to visit Russia and Japan between October 22 and October 26 2019. This is a follow up visit of PM Modi for the Eastern Economic Forum in September 2019.

Highlights of the visit

  • The Minister will meet Russian Ministers for Development of Russian Far East and Arctic, ship building complexes.
  • The Minister is looking forward for collaboration in sectors like coking coal and discussions on shipping routes.
  • The Minister will also sign MoUs to strengthen symbolic bilateral energy cooperation.
  • He will participate in the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity Ministerial Meeting

GFSEC ministerial meeting

The GFSEC Ministerial meeting is to be held in Tokyo, Japan between October 25 and October 26 2019. The meeting will involve policy discussions.

The GFSEC meeting was formally established in December, 2016 in Berlin. The meeting brings together all the G20 members and the OECD members. The meeting represents 90% of global steel production.

India in Russia and Japan

ONGC has recently joined Sakhalin-1 consortium. It has so far acquired 20% participation in the project. It is the largest foreign direct investment by any country in any project in Russia. Sakhalin in a consortium for production of oil and gas on Sakhalin island in Russia in Okhotsk sea. It holds six of the world’s 10 record-setting extended reach drilling wells.

The Agreement between EIL and Russian National Chamber of Engineers strengthens bilateral energy cooperation in the hydrocarbon exploration in Russia

There are a lot of synergies between India and Japan. India is collaborating on a big scale with Japan in the LNG sector.

5th Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) held in Vladivostok

The fifth edition of Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) was held in Vladivostok, Russia from September 4 to 6, 2019. It was aimed at roviding a platform for discussing issues aimed at expanding international cooperation in Asia-Pacific region and developing the economy of Russias Far East.  The participants in Summit were India, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, and South Korea. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi was Chief Guest at the event being hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Key Takeaways from Summit

India’s Line of Credit (LoC): PM Modi while addressing Plenary Session of 5th EEF announced LoC worth $1 billion for the development of the Far East region of Russia. This is the first-ever region-specific LoC extended by India in a foreign country.

Act Far East policy: PM Modi also announced launching of India’s “Act Far East” policy. Russia’s Far East is rich in resource, but is sparsely populated region. This policy aims to tap this region’s resources potential and also find opportunities for skilled workers to find employment in this region. It also ties in well with Indo-Pacific concept, and opens up possibilities for India to use Arctic route to connect with northern Europe.

About Eastern Economic Forum (EEF)

It is annual event held at Vladivostok, Russia to encourage foreign investment in the Russian Far East. It was established by decree of Russia President Vladimir Putin in 2015.

It is aimed at supporting economic development of Russia’s Far East and to expand international cooperation in Asia-Pacific region.

Objectives:

(i) Strengthening ties between Russian business and federal, regional, and local government bodies on side and international investment community on other side.

(ii) Conducting comprehensive expert assessment of Russia’s Far East economic potential and improving its competitiveness and attractiveness to investors.

(iii) Showcasing new investment and business opportunities such as advanced special economic zones (SEZs), Vladivostok Free Port, and state support for high-potential investment projects.

Events at this Forum: These are held in the form of panel sessions, roundtables, business breakfasts, televised debates and business dialogues devoted to Russia’s relationships with various countries.