Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday announced a credit line of $1 billion to Mongolia to expand its “economic capacity and infrastructure”.
Modi is in Mongolia, a steppe nation situated between China and Russia, and has held talks with his counterpart Chimed Saikhanbileg. India and Mongolia on Sunday upgraded ties to ‘Strategic Partnership’.
Indian and Mongolian officials signed 14 agreements covering defence, cyber security, agriculture, renewable energy and health sector.
“I am pleased to announce that India will provide a Line of Credit of USD one billion to support expansion of Mongolia’s economic capacity and infrastructure,” Modi said at a joint press interaction with Saikhanbileg at the State Palace in Ulan Bator, the capital of Mongolia.
“We have a strong convergence of views. We are starting a new era in our partnership,” the Indian Premier added.
Mongolia has a geographical expanse bigger than Japan, France and Spain put together.
Chinese President Xi Jinping in September last year proposed to construct an economic corridor linking China, Mongolia and Russia, during tripartite talks held between the leaders of the three countries in Dushanbe, the capital city of Tajikistan.
Landlocked-Mongolia is of growing strategic interest to both Russia-China and the US. The Chinese President’s proposal of an economic corridor is also aimed at countering Washington’s increased interest in the region.
The Indian Prime Minister, on Sunday in Ulan Bator, also said Mongolia is “an integral part of India’s Act-East policy”.
China is the biggest trade partner of Mongolia, although the US also has significant defence ties with the country.
Mongolia, had alongwith India and China, sent military units to march in the Victory Day parade of Russia on May 9 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, an event boycotted by most Western leaders.