Committed to strengthening economic ties at the highest level, India and Russia on Tuesday agreed to consider a comprehensive agreement in this regard and push bilateral trade to USD 20 billion by 2015.
The two key members of the fast-rising BRIC (Brazil-Russia-India-China) economies recognised potential for mutual investment in the private sectors and viewed bilateral energy cooperation as a key component of their strategic partnership.
A joint statement issued after talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev here, said the two sides “agreed to continue their efforts to achieve the strategic target of bilateral trade volume of USD 20 billion by 2015...
“Both sides agreed to consider the possibility of a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) taking into account the implementation of the agreements on constituting the customs union between Russia, Kazakhastan and Belarus...,” it said.
The bilateral trade in 2009-10 stood at USD 4.54 billion and the two nations aspire to step it up more than four-fold in the next five years.
India is in the process of dismantling duty barrires through trade pacts with several countries and blocs like Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and European Union.
Such pacts are already under implmentation with ASEAN, Singapore and South Korea.
Russia, as a major energy producing country and India as a big consumer, viewed energy cooperation “as an important pillar of the strategic partnership“.
They also reviewed the ongoing efforts to establish joint cooperation ventures between Indian and Russian companies in the oil and gas sector.
It was agreed that the inter-governmental agreement on cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector signed during the Summit, must serve as a legal mechanism.
This is to expedite governmental clearances on both sides to facilitate the creation and operation of joint ventures.
They would promote specific projects including upstream and downstream activities in India, Russia and third countries.
The two leaders noted that the conclusion of the agreement on simplification of visa procedures would help enhance contacts between the business communities of the two countries.