The Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla announced after he met with his Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that India is planning to bolster its economic presence in Russia’s the Far East. India sees this region as a “very high potential area, where we can develop new sectors and help companies looking to invest in new areas such as coking coal, timber, liquid natural gas.”
As the Russian relationship with the West worsened, it is seen by many analysts in India as moving closer to China. Over the past several years, China has emerged as the Russian Far East's primary foreign investor and trading partner. In 2019, Beijing accounted for over 70 per cent of all direct foreign investment in the region and 28.2 per cent of its foreign trade. Russia and China have even conducted joint military exercises in this region in 2012. How many trade disputes have erupted between local exporters and Beijing. Recently, China restricted the import of seafood from this region.
During the 2019 visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India announced a USD 1 billion loan to aid the region’s development. The two countries also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a direct maritime corridor between Chennai and Vladivostok. The new sea route cuts down shipping time from 40 (through the European corridor) to 24 days. Bringing Japan also into this investment plan, India, Japan, and Russia trilateral Track-II or semi-official discussions about this region’s development. The three countries identified energy, coal mining, diamond processing, forestry, agro-industry, transportation and pharmaceuticals as potential areas of cooperation.