India-Russia-China meet to promote trade ties

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The first India-Russia-China trilateral business conference was held here on Saturday to strengthen economic cooperation and iron out the irregularities in trade among the three countries. The meeting was a follow-up to the deliberations of the Foreign Ministers of India, China and the Russia, most recently in China, where it was proposed to organise a business-cum-official conference. It will be an annual feature and held in each country by rotation. India is hosting the first conference and the next edition will be in China in 2009.

Addressing the delegates, Ministry of External Affairs Secretary (West) Nalin Surie pointed out that the conference was aimed at giving an economic, trade and business content to the ongoing process of strengthening the political relations amongst the three economic powerhouses of the region. It was now up to the entrepreneurs and businessmen of the region to drive the Track II initiative and bring it to fruition.

Russian Ambassador to India V.I. Trubnikov pointed out that the three-party process had become a political factor to reckon with since the three countries were united in their approach to core issues such as strengthening the U.N. role, recognising the realities of multi-polarity, democratising international relations and resolving all major crises in the world by collective measures.

Charge d’Affaires of the Chinese Embassy Bu Jian Guo promised China’s commitment to placing the trilateral economic and business cooperation on a sustainable, high growth trajectory. Organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Ministry of External Affairs, the conference was also addressed by G.G. Petrov, Yu Ping and Deepak Kanoria, senior chamber officials from the three countries.

A background paper noted the differences in bilateral trade relations among the three countries. Trade between Rusia and China overcame its sluggishness around the beginning of the century and now stands at about $ 30 billions with a minor trade surplus in favour of Russia. Indo-Russian trade is insubstantial with India’s exports never crossing $ 1 billion.

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