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Vladimir Putin-Narendra Modi bilateral meeting set to focus on trade ties

Delhi meeting discusses need to boost non-defence commerce.

The scheduled September meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to highlight bilateral non-defence trade.

The discussion in this regard took place in the antional capital during July 9 and 10 at the Second India-Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue (IRSED), which agreed to submit a report on measures to boost commercial ties.

“President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have set a target of $30 billion in trade volume to be achieved by 2025. While in the year 2018 we saw an inspiring trend with our trade picking up and reaching almost $11 billion there is a lot of space for improvement,” Russian ambassador Nikolay R. Kudashev said.

The dialogue highlighted challenges like the Iran sanctions that are affecting trade between India and Russia and contributing to international uncertainties.

The Indian team at the event was led by CEO of NITI Aayog Amitabh Kant and Deputy Minister of the Economic Development of Russia Timur Maksimov. The meeting focused on areas like development of transport infrastructure, technology, agriculture, business support for small and medium sectors, digital transformation, frontier technologies, tourism and connectivity. It resolved to submit a report to Prime Minister Modi and President Putin before the leaders meet in Vladivostok in September where the Indian leader is to be the chief guest at the Eastern Economic Forum.

The blueprint for better trade ties is expected to figure also in the next round of the Inter-Governmental Commission meeting which is expected before the summit level meeting in Vladivostok.

The dialogue highlighted that multiplicity of documentation is a hurdle in faster overland transport, preventing growth of bilateral trade. Another issue was the slow progress on the International North-South Transport Corridor project.

Tourism slowdown

The Dialogue said the lack of people-to-people contact was evident in the tourism sector. The annual figure of Russia-bound Indian tourists was found to be around 60,000. Both sides discussed the necessity for increasing air connectivity between Indian cities and the eastern part of Russia like Vladivostok.

The dialogue witnessed some frank moments especially from the leader of the Russian delegation, Mr Maksimov who said, “Many of the challenges have been discussed before. As of now we need to take concrete steps to help boost bilateral trade.”

The proposed Chennai-Vladivostok maritime link and the need for more small and medium trade-level contact found special mention at the Dialogue.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 8:25:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/vladimir-putin-narendra-modi-bilateral-meeting-set-to-focus-on-trade-ties/article28363846.ece

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