New Delhi: India and Russia are working together to take their relationship to a higher level and there is scope for cooperation in agriculture and agro-processing sector, Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar said Wednesday. Addressing the second India-Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue, Kumar said that India is looking to expand its relationship with Russia to a qualitatively higher level with deeper economic cooperation and exchange of ideas.
"India and Russia are working together to take their relationship to a higher level. The IRSED (Dialogue) is looking at six core areas of cooperation which expands upon the work done since the first meeting in 2018," he said. The six core areas are - development of agriculture and agro-processing sector, development of transport infrastructure and technologies, small and medium business support, digital transformation and frontier technologies, cooperation in trade, banking, finance, and industry, and tourism and connectivity. "A lot can be done in terms of agriculture ... India can meet a lot of agriculture needs of Russia. We are such a large agricultural country economy," the Niti Aayog vice-chairman said.
On the other side, Kumar said Russian companies can help Indian farmers in value addition of agricultural products. "Both ways, its a win-win situation" he noted.
Kumar also pointed out that so far India's MSMEs are not integrated with global production chains, so there is a huge opportunity for Russian companies to partner with India's MSMEs. Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of Russian Federation Timur Maksimov said the range of issues being discussed at the second dialogue provide a positive dynamic to the Indo-Russian relationship. Noting that India and Russia have a special relationship, Maksimov said, "India is the fastest growing economy in the world and India's high growth can be used for global economic growth and India-Russia partnership." Deputy National Security Adviser Pankaj Saran said that frequent meetings between the leadership of India and Russia have translated into positive political relations. "It is time to translate these into meaningful economic relations, recognizing opportunities through IRSED," Saran said.
India and Russia aim to achieve bilateral trade target of USD 30 billion by 2025. The strategic dialogue was established following a bilateral memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the Niti Aayog and the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation during the 19th edition of the Annual India-Russia Bilateral Summit, which was held on October 5, 2018, in New Delhi. The first India-Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue was held in St Petersburg between November 25 and November 26, 2018.