India ready for FTA talks

India ready for FTA talks
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will convey to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday that India is ready to start negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Eurasia Economic Union (EEU)  — a market of 170 million people and $2.7 trillion combined Gross Domestic Product.

Modi reached Moscow on Wednesday and is likely to meet Putin on Thursday for the annual India-Russia summit. “My visit will deepen the cooperation between India and Russia in the economic, energy and security spheres. We also want to increase cooperation in science and technology, mining among other sectors,” Modi  said in a statement issued shortly before his departure from New Delhi.

Modi and Putin are expected to focus more on bilateral trade and investment ties. India-Russia bilateral trade last year was worth a shade below $10 billion. Both New Delhi and Moscow acknowledged that the trade was far below potential. “There is potential to further strengthen our relations in the field of trade and investments. Our bilateral trade, though growing, has not achieved its full potential. We have committed to increase this to $30 billion by 2025. Similarly, we are committed to increase our investments to $15 billion each by 2025,” Modi said in an interview to Russian news-agency TASS before his departure to Moscow. 

He also told TASS that India was in the process of launching negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement with the EEU.

Modi and Putin had in December 2014 agreed that the initiative launched by India and the Eurasian Economic Commission for a Joint Study Group to explore the feasibility of a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement.

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