Japan-India Coordination Forum to steam ahead with infrastructural projects in the North-East
The Dollar Business Bureau
The first meeting of the Japan-India Coordination Forum (JICF) for Development of North-Eastern Region was held at Delhi. This is a part of the Indo-Japan strategy to contain China’s marauding moves in the region. The JICF is being set up to focus on connectivity, road development, especially inter-State roads and major district roads, disaster management, food processing, organic farming, and tourism.
The Secretary, Ministry of Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), Naveen Verma led the Indian side while the Japanese delegation was led by the Japanese Ambassador to India, Kenji Hiramatsu. Senior Officers of the Ministry of Home Affairs, External Affairs, Department of Economic Affairs, and line Ministries of Government of India including Road Transport & Highways, Agriculture, Power besides Resident Commissioners of the eight States of the North East Region participated in the meeting. The Japanese delegation included Minister, Economic Affairs, Embassy of Japan, besides representatives from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) and Japan Foundation.
This new initiative takes precedence as representation from the various N.E States like Mizoram, Sikkim, Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, and Nagaland apprised the Central government of the incursions of the Chinese into various regions. India feels it should create a roadmap for attracting investments into the region that hold immense strategic importance.
Japan has been aiding India with some infrastructure projects like building the bullet train and given the sensitive situation existing in the North East, Japan’s help is likely to fast track the entire process with the urgency which the projects need.
Secretary, DoNER, Naveen Verma said regular meetings of the Forum would not only enhance Assistance by JICA but also promote B2B and people to people contacts.
The North-East situation is like a shot-in-the-arm to the Indian government which isn’t holding back in feverishly trying to complete/improve the connectivity projects that it has undertaken with Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal. The Central government is also leaving no stone unturned to speeden up the SASEC or South Asian Sub-Regional Economic Cooperation in competition with the China’s 60-country OBOR initiative.