India, Russia decide to expand bilateral trade to USD 30 bn by 2025

Vladivostok: India and Russia on Wednesday decided to step up industrial cooperation and create new technological and investment partnership, especially in advanced high-tech areas, with an aim to increase bilateral trade to USD 30 billion by 2025.

According to a joint statement issued by the Russian government after 29th India-Russia Annual Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin also agreed that the work on promoting mutual settlements of payments in national currencies will be continued.

Modi is visiting Russia on the invitation of President Putin. The 20th India-Russia Annual Summit was held in Vladivostok. Modi also participated in the 5th Eastern Economic Forum as the Chief Guest.

The leaders expressed satisfaction with the stable mutual growth of trade turnover, the statement said.

"To bring it to USD 30 billion by 2025, they agreed to more actively engage the impressive resource and human resources potential of India and Russia, enhance industrial cooperation, create new technological and investment partnership, especially in advanced high-tech areas and find new avenues and forms of cooperation," it said.

India-Russia bilateral merchandise trade was about USD 8.2 billion during 2018-19.

Both the sides expressed their interest in expanding the participation of Russian business in 'Make in India' programme and that of Indian companies in investment projects in Russia.

In this context, the statement said they agreed to speed up preparations for signing of the India-Russia Intergovernmental Agreement on Promotion and Mutual Protection of Investments.

It was also agreed to intensify work for eliminating trade barriers.

This would be facilitated, inter alia, by the proposed Trading Agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the Republic of India.

The statement further said India is ready to play a significant role in the Arctic Council, while Russia expressed its readiness to participate in major infrastructural and other projects in India.

The two sides have also agreed to cooperate in supply of coking coal from Russian Far East to India.

"The leaders are determined to forge cooperation in geological exploration and joint development of oil and gas fields in Russia and India, including offshore fields," the statement said.

India and Russia agreed to consider the prospects for expanding cooperation in hydro and thermal power, energy efficiency as well as for designing and constructing facilities that generate energy from non-conventional sources.

"With the signing of the Roadmap for cooperation in Hydrocarbons for 2019-24 during the Summit, both Sides expect bilateral cooperation in this sector to touch new heights in the next five years," it added.

Further, the two sides agreed to review possibility of expanding direct passenger and cargo flights including flights between various regions of both the countries.

Also, the Sides acknowledged the opportunities to increase bilateral trade in the sphere of agriculture.

They expressed their intent to take specific steps to enhance legal framework in this sector and harmonize phytosanitary standards, develop logistics, find new ways to promote agricultural commodities in the two countries' markets and study the capacities and needs of each other more carefully.

Modi, who arrived in Russia on a two-day visit on Wednesday during which he will also attend the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF), is the first Indian prime minister to visit to the Russian Far East Region.

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