India, Russia to focus on trade: Prabhu

Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu on Friday said there is huge potential for India and Russia in areas such as agriculture, services and innovation and the two countries would open a new chapter in bilateral relations with a greater focus on trade and commerce.

He was speaking at the annual International Economic Forum in the Russian city of St. Petersburg, (SPIEF18).

“We are proud of the unique, time tested, strong relations between India and Russia. Now we will work on a new chapter in our relations with a greater focus on trade and commerce,” Prabhu said, participating at the India Russia Business Dialogue at the SPIEF.

The minister referred to the huge potential between both countries in agriculture, services, knowledge -based industry and innovation.

He also met the Russian Minister of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin and discussed issues of bilateral trade and investments.

“We plan to work together to give impetus to trade relations between the two countries,” Prabhu said later in a tweet.

The discussion revolved around current issues in Russian–Indian trade, economic, and investment cooperation that fall under the purview of their respective ministries.

It was stressed that growth in the overall volume of trade would facilitate a large-scale increase in agricultural trade.

According to Oreshkin, Russia is one of the leading exporters of wheat, while India imports this product in large quantities.

He said that Russia would increase exports of sunflower, soya, and rapeseed oil, which account for a significant share of India’s imports.

The ministers believe that the expansion of cooperation in agriculture could enable a bilateral working group on agricultural cooperation to be created as part of the Intergovernmental Commission.

The ministers discussed removing restrictions and barriers to trade, and economic and investment cooperation.

Oreshkin drew attention to the fact that India applies more protective measures to Russian goods than any of Russia’s other trade partners, and proposed establishing a regular bilateral consultation mechanism to lift these restrictions and barriers.

The two ministers also discussed the prospects for developing a free trade agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union and India and for holding consultations on this issue.

The SPIEF is a leading international business event and platform for discussing key economic issues in Russia, emerging economies and the world as a whole.

 

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