India, Russia plan economic pact

Both ink around 30 trade agreements

India, Russia plan economic pact

 Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh walk after talks in New Delhi, on Tuesday. AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Dmitry Astakhov, Presidential Press Service)In a joint statement issued here both sides said they had agreed to continue their efforts to “achieve the strategic target of bilateral trade volume of $20 billion by 2015”. Indo-Russia bilateral trade in 2009-10 stood at $4.54 billion.

Significantly both sides agreed to consider the possibility of Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) taking into account the implementation of the agreements on constituting the customs union between Russia, Kazakhastan and Belarus.

Both sides signed as many as 30 agreements envisaging bilateral business deals in wide range of economic activities. The most significant related to enhanced bilateral cooperation in the field of energy including power and oil and natural gas.

Russia, as major energy producing country and India as big consumer, viewed energy cooperation “as an important pillar of strategic partnership”. Both sides signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for boosting cooperation not only at bilateral level but also for setting up projects in third countries. The agreement is expected to provide an administrative framework for joint undertaking of projects in the oil and gas sector in India, Russia and third countries by oil and gas companies from both countries.

ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) — overseas investment arm of ONGC — signed an agreement with JSFC Sistema of Russia for joint projects in hydrocarbon sector. An MoU envisaging enhanced cooperation in the area of IT and IT-Enabled Services, cooperation in the area of pharmaceuticals and bio-pharmaceuticals through establishment of joint ventures, joint research and exchange of know-how was also signed. To facilitate smoother flow of trade and investment both sides finalised sensitive agreement on simplification of visa procedures in a bid to  help enhance contacts between the business communities of the two countries.

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