India and Russia will review strategies to boost bilateral trade and investment, while committing to improve ease of doing business, including liberalising travel regime, in their countries. “The leaders recognised the need to constantly reinvent methodologies to realise the target set at the annual summit in December 2014, to increase annual bilateral trade and investment and committed to working towards the objective,” the two sides said in a joint statement.
It was issued after the meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the ongoing summit of the BRICS group, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
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Both the leaders reiterated their commitment to further easing of business, it said. Acknowledging that liberalisation of the travel regime for the businessmen is necessary, the two sides called for their timely and effective implementation, it added.
Setting up of bilateral investment fund by National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF) of India with Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) would facilitate high-technology investments in both the countries, it added.
The leaders also called on companies in both the countries to finalise new and ambitious investment proposals in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, chemicals, mining, machine building, implementation of infrastructure projects, railways, fertiliser, automobiles and aircraft construction.
They also emphasised on the need to strengthen bilateral diamond trade. On mutual market access for agricultural and processed food products, including dairy products and bovine meat, the two sides “agreed to continue ongoing consultations between their regulatory authorities and introduce measures to widen the range of such products for bilateral trade”, said the statement.
They noted the progress of the Joint Study Group on considering the feasibility of a free trade agreement between the India and the Eurasian Economic Union.
Taking into account the important role of banks in settlement of trade, the leaders expressed hope for the enhancement by commercial banks, including through the development of correspondent relations and increase in lending limits.
Both the countries inked several MoUs in sectors like shipping and railways. An MoU was signed between JSC United Shipbuilding Corporation and the Council for Economic Cooperation of Andhra Pradesh on studying perspectives for cooperation in shipbuilding, implementation of infrastructure projects, transfer of technologies and training foreign specialists.
An MoU was inked between Gazprom and Engineers India Ltd for joint study of a gas pipeline to India and other possible areas of cooperation.
A cooperation agreement was signed in the area of education and training between Rosneft Oil Company and ONGC Videsh Ltd. Another pact was also signed on the programme of cooperation in oil and gas sector for 2017-18.
An MoU was inked for setting up of Investment Fund between NIIF and RDIF; besides an agreement between Ministry of Economic Development of Russia and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, India on expansion of bilateral trade and economic cooperation was signed.
An agreement was also signed on cooperation in international information security. The bilateral trade between India and Russia stood at USD 6.17 billion in 2015-16.