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India, Russia agree to boost economic and trade ties

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Dmitry Rogozin, Russian Deputy Prime Minister signing the 20th IRIGC-TEC Protocol
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Dmitry Rogozin, Russian Deputy Prime Minister signing the 20th IRIGC-TEC Protocol

New Delhi, Nov 5 Ahead of the bilateral summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin in December, both countries Wednesday held the 20th India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission Meeting here during which the entire gamut of bilateral ties, especially cooperation in areas including hydrocarbons, civil aviation and infrastructure, was discussed.

The meeting of the Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation was co-chaired by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.

Rogozin also met Prime Minister Modi who said India attached very high importance to its “time-tested” and special strategic partnership with Russia.

Modi also said he was looking forward to the visit of Putin to India for the Annual Summit.

“The visit would provide an opportunity to take forward the bilateral relations to a new level,” he said.

The Inter-Governmental Commission took note of important outstanding issues requiring immediate attention and recommended early resolution of such issues amicably in tune with the spirit of traditional friendship and mutual trust between the two countries, said an official statement.

Some of the important decisions of the Commission include: a joint study group for the proposed agreement between India and the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation for trade in goods and services; Enhancement of bilateral trade through the International North South Corridor Project (INSTC) by freight forwarders and exporters particularly to bolster trade in agriculture and food processing industry; Maintain the momentum of cooperation in some priority areas such as hydrocarbons, coking coal, fertilizers, mining, civil aviation, infrastructure and trade in rough diamonds.

Another decision was for joint cooperation between Indian company National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) and the Russian company ACRON for development of potassium and magnesium deposits in Talitsky mine in Perm region of Russia and Partomchorr apatite-nepheline ore deposit (Murmansk region), the statement said.

At a separate event, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said India was for greater market access to the Russian market for its products and also invited investments into areas such as railways and defence.

Sitharaman, speaking at the 8th India-Russia Forum on Trade and Investment organised by CII and FIICI, said: “We would like to invite investments from Russia. Come and produce here. Come to India, make it here and sell it to us.”

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