Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday explored the possibility of a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) to maximise the trade potential between the two countries,sources said.
Sources said the proposal regarding the CECA between India and the Customs Union of Russia,Kazakhstan and Belarus was discussed between the two sides.
The two leaders met at Singhs Race Course Road residence for about 45 minutes on Thursday,after attending the BRICS summit at Taj Palace hotel.
After the meeting,Medvedev tweeted,Our ties with India,China,Brazil and South Africa have reached a new level. Leaving the ancient Delhi.
During the bilateral meeting,sources said that the two leaders agreed that the bilateral trade is below potential,and reaffirmed their target of achieving $ 20 billion by 2015.
The overall bilateral trade has been growing steadily between the two countries. Trade in 2009 was $ 7.46 billion,in 2010 it was $ 8.535 billion,and is expected to reach $ 9 billion in 2011.
In 2010,Russian exports to India amounted to $ 6.392 billion and imports from India to Russia amounted to
$ 2.142 billion. The two-way investment between the two countries stands at approximately $ 7.8 billion.
Both sides acknowledged that given the respective sizes of the Indian and Russian economies,as also untapped economic complementarity,there is vast potential for an increase in bilateral trade volumes and investment. In 2009,both sides set the target of achieving $ 20 billion in bilateral trade by 2015.
Special attention is also being paid to energy,pharmaceuticals,IT,steel,hydrocarbons,aerospace,diamonds and agriculture sectors for this purpose.
The two sides also discussed the issue of civilian nuclear cooperation. Singh briefed Medvedev about the progress since work on Koodankulam nuclear power plant started last week.
Regarding the issue of Sistema Shyam Teleservices,whose licence has been cancelled due to a court order,Singh assured Medvedev that India welcomed foreign investors.
Both leaders also reviewed defence cooperation and expressed satisfaction at the progress between the two countries. The BrahMos missile system is an example of this cooperation.