Not just high-speed trains, India wants high-speed growth too, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi this morning as he addressed top business leaders at the India-Japan Business Leaders Forum in New Delhi, shortly after welcoming Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe who is on a three-day visit to the country.
During their summit meeting today, the two leaders are expected to seal a Rs. 98,000 crore deal for India’s first bullet train track and deliberate on a civil nuclear pact. The bullet train network will link Mumbai with Ahmadabad and is expected to cut travel time on the 505 kilometer route from eight hours to around three.
Speaking at the forum, PM Abe said “a strong India is good for Japan and a strong Japan is good for India” and praised PM Modi’s economic policies, saying they were “safe and reliable like Shinkansen-High speed trains.”
Welcoming PM Abe, PM Modi had in a tweet described him as a “phenomenal leader” and said his trip would further deepen bilateral relations.
Addressing the Japan-India Innovation Seminar yesterday hours after arriving in the national capital, PM Abe had said: “Indo-Japanese relations will contribute to peace and prosperity in Asia and the world.”
A number of agreements to expand cooperation in a range of areas are expected to be signed today after the summit talks which are likely to deliberate on a number of infrastructure projects including the ambitious smart cities initiative of Prime Minister Modi.
According to the proposed agreement, Japan will provide financial assistance to the tune of 81 per cent of the project cost as soft loan.
After the talks, PM Abe will leave for Varanasi, PM Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency, where the two leaders will attend Ganga aarti at the famous Dasaswamedh Ghat.
At the last summit meeting in Tokyo in 2014, India and Japan had agreed to elevate bilateral relationships to “special strategic and global partnership”.
PM Modi and PM Abe met last month on the sidelines of the 13th Asean-India Summit at Kuala Lumpur and during the Paris climate change conference.