India, Russia enter new agreements

The state visit by President Vladimir Putin for the 19th Annual Bilateral Summit saw the signing of preliminary agreements pertaining to defence and security, foreign affairs, economic development, space science, railways, nuclear energy, among others

October 5, 2018

On the occasion, the two sides discussed methods of increasing bilateral trade that rose by 43 per cent to US$10.7 billion during 2017-18 to US$30 billion by fiscal 2025

On the margins, a India-Russia Business Summit was organised by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the CII with participation of business delegations from both sides

India is looking to set up of a fast track, single-window mechanism to facilitate Russian companies that will be helmed by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP)

The two nations are looking partner in sectors such as hydrocarbons, gold and diamond, timber, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, power, aviation, railways and logistics for growth

The Governments of India and Russia entered into a host of preliminary agreements during the state visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The state visit, to mark the 19th Annual Bilateral Summit held over October 4-5, cemented Indo-Russian ties through bilateral agreements covering defence and security, foreign affairs, economic development, space science, railways, nuclear energy, among others. On the visit, President Putin, who was accompanied by a defence, governmental and business delegation, met with President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime MInister Narendra Modi and other senior Indian leaders. Two sides also discussed increasing bilateral trade that rose by 43 per cent to US$10.7 billion during 2017-18.

The strategic partners are aiming to increase bilateral trade to US$30 billion by fiscal 2025. Meanwhile, Russia and India are also looking to increase two-way flow of investment. Bilateral investments between India and Russia have traditionally focussed on oil and gas, with an Indian consortium by ONGC Videsh recently (OVL) acquiring a 49 per cent stake in Russia’s Vankor cluster oilfields as well as Russia’s Rosneft PJSC and its partners recently acquiring India’s second-largest refinery and largest network of private petrol pumps, among other assets for US$12.9 billion. This bilateral relationship is expected to cover a range of other crucial sectors owing to improved diplomatic partnership and high-profile exchanges.

The agreements signed on President Putin’s latest visit included:

  1. Protocol for Consultations between Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and India’s Ministry of External Affairs for the period 2019-2023
  2. Agreement between the Russian Ministry of Economic Development and the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog)
  3. Partnership between the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and Russia’s ROSCOSMOS on Human Spaceflight Programme
  4. Agreement between the Indian and Russian Railways covering speed upgradation, traffic control, technology and skill development
  5. An agreement in relation to cooperation in nuclear energy, including reactor supply to India as well as cooperation in third countries
  6. Agreement between Indi’s National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) and the Russian Small and Medium Business Corporation (RSMB)
  7. Agreement in the fertilizers sector between the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Phosagro PJSC and Indian Potash Ltd to boost capacity

On the margins of the visit, a India-Russia Business Summit was organised by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) with participation of business delegations from both sides. Amid growing ties, the two nations have focussed activities in the priority sectors such as mining and metallurgy, power and energy, railways, pharmaceuticals, IT, chemicals, infrastructure, automobile, aviation, space sciences, shipbuilding and in the micro, small and medium enterprises. To drive growth in these sectors, the first meeting of the Strategic Economic Dialogue between India’s NITI Aayog and Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development is scheduled to be held later in 2018 in Russia.

Meanwhile, India is looking to set up of a fast track, single-window mechanism for Russian companies to be helmed by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The mechanism would be in addition to the Russia Desk that was set up earlier to promote Russian investment in India. These platforms are expected to create opportunities for India and Russia to partner in fields such as hydrocarbons, gold and diamond, timber, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, power, aviation, railways and logistics. On the occasion, Russia’s Minister for Economic Development, Maxim Oreshkin, said that Russia was preparing a strategy to increase economic cooperation with India.

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