BUSINESS

‘Asia-Africa corridor to respect sovereignty’

To help spur economic connectivity

The guiding principles of the Asia Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC), initiated by India with the backing of Japan, will be to ensure sustainability through respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as boosting regional economic connectivity through the use of responsible debt financing practices, a former top government official said.

The AAGC is seen as India and Japan’s counter to China’s Belt and Road Initiative that plans to link Asia, Europe and later even Africa by spending trillions of dollars in building infrastructure.

Speaking at a meeting on AAGC organised by the Delhi-based think tank RIS, Amar Sinha, former Secretary (Economic Relations) in the Ministry of External Affairs, said the AAGC guiding principles were similar to the India-U.S. Joint Statement (of June 2017).

It had stated that “In accordance with the tenets outlined in the U.N. Charter, they (India and the U.S.) committed to a set of common principles for the (Indo-Pacific) region, according to which sovereignty and international law are respected and every country can prosper.”

Action plan

Ambassador Hardeep Puri, chairperson, RIS, said India and Japan were likely to soon reach out to the African governments, think tanks, NGOs and companies to ensure that the action plan of the AAGC was fine-tuned and successfully implemented.

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