Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday invited Russia’s mining companies like Alrosa to transact directly with Indian companies while urging Russia to ease regulations to boost bilateral trade in this sector.
Addressing the two-day World Diamond Conference held here, Modi asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to encourage Russian jewellers to process rough diamonds in India and allow duty-free re-import of the polished diamonds.
Russia is the world’s largest diamond producer, while India is the world’s biggest centre for cutting and polishing of rough diamonds. India exports cut and polished diamonds worth $20 billion in a year.
“I have made three proposals to President Putin. First, I would like Alrosa to have direct long-term contracts with more Indian companies. I am pleased to know that they are moving in that direction. Second, I want Alrosa and others to trade directly on our bourse… Third, I asked President Putin to reform regulations so that Russian jewellery makers can send their rough diamond to India and re-import polished diamond without paying duty. This will give a boost to our diamond industry. These measures will also boost India-Russia economic ties,” Modi said.