India and Japan launched work on a high-speed train line in the western Indian state of Gujarat on Thursday during a visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The “bullet train” will link Ahmadabad, the main commercial city in Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s native state, to India’s financial capital of Mumbai.
The 500-kilometer (310-mile) project will be financed by a Japanese credit of $17 billion and is expected to be completed by 2022. The loan carries a nominal interest rate of 0.1 percent to be paid over the next 50 years.
Abe and Modi also laid the foundation stone for an institute that will be set up in Gujarat’s Vadodara city to train around 4,000 people to run the high-speed train system.
Analysts say building the train line will give a boost to infrastructure development in India’s fast-growing western industrial region, contribute to economic growth and decongest crowded cities.
“A strong India is in Japan’s interest and a strong Japan is in India’s interest,” Abe said after he and Modi pressed a button at the foundation laying ceremony for the train line.
Talks between Modi and Abe focused on security at a time when both countries share concerns about a rising China, an Indian official said.
The two countries made progress on an Asia-Africa growth…