India, Russia agree on easing travel regime to boost trade

| Updated: Oct 16, 2016 00:11 IST

Panaji (Goa) [India], Oct. 15 (ANI): After holding bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on Saturday that liberalization of travel regime for businessmen is an important step towards strengthening bilateral trade. A joint statement released by the two sides said, "Acknowledging that liberalization of the travel regime for the businessmen of both States, strengthening of new Transport Corridors, etc. are important steps in this direction, the Sides called for their timely and effective implementation." "The leaders recognized the need to constantly reinvent methodologies to realize the target set at the Annual Summit in December 2014, to increase annual bilateral trade and investment and committed to working towards the objective. They re-emphasized the need for continued facilitation by both governments based on regular consultations within the framework of institutional mechanisms as well as speedy implementation of decisions," the statement added. The two sides also welcomed the outcomes of the 22nd meeting of the Indian-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation held in New Delhi on September 13 and called for early finalization of new proposals identified during the IGC. Both sides reiterated their commitment to further easing of business. They further noted the creation of bilateral investment fund by National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF) of India with Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to facilitate high-technology investments in both nations. They particularly welcomed the recent investment by India in the Russian oil sector and called on companies in both countries to finalize new and ambitious investment proposals in similar promising sectors such as pharmaceuticals, chemical industry, mining, machine building, implementation of infrastructure projects, cooperation in railway sector, fertilizer production, automobiles and aircraft construction as well as collaborative ventures in modernizing each other's industrial facilities. Both sides favourably assessed the ongoing cooperation between the railway organizations of the two countries and urged them to intensify it further. They welcomed enhanced interactions between representatives of the business community of India and Russia including the CEOs-level interaction particularly during large trade and business events in 2016. Both sides called for continuation of such interactions and noted that India's participation as a partner country in INNOPROM-2016 highlighted the same as one of the most representative among international events in the field of industry, scientific and technological innovations. The Indian side welcomed Russia's scheduled participation as partner country in International Engineering Sourcing Show 2017 in India underlining it would impart added momentum to bilateral economic links. Russia welcomed intentions of the Government of India to focus on the opportunities in the Far East of the Russian Federation, participate enthusiastically in the Eastern Economic Forum in 2017, organize a roundtable between the Governors of the Far East Regions of the Russian Federation and the Chief Ministers of different states of India, explore trade and investment opportunities in the agriculture, mining, shipping etc. Both sides welcomed initiatives to promote direct trade in diamonds between India and Russia and gave positive evaluation of the work of the Special Notified Zone (SNZ) at the Bharat Diamond Bourse, noting active support of this project from PJSC ALROSA, i.e. through holding regular rough diamond viewing. They noted the latest increase in the number of Indian resident companies signing long-term rough diamonds supply contracts with PJSC ALROSA and emphasized the importance of further development of mechanisms and terms of work in the SNZ with the aim of strengthening bilateral diamond trade. Both sides welcomed progress in the implementation of Green Corridor project in accordance with the Protocol between the Central Board of Excise and Customs of India and the Federal Customs Service of Russia on Cooperation in Exchange of Pre-arrival information for Facilitation of Trade and Customs Control on Goods and Vehicles moved between the two countries. Since the signing of the Protocol on 6th April, 2015, the Customs administrations on both sides have resolved complex technical issues and have successfully given effect to a real-time pre-arrival exchange of information based on customs export declarations, paving the way to boost bilateral trade. They also noted the progress in the work of the Joint Study Group to consider the feasibility of a free trade agreement between India and the Eurasian Economic Union. Taking into account the important role of banks in settlement of trade, both sides expressed hope for the enhancement by commercial banks of the two countries of their partnership, including through the development of correspondent relations and increase in lending limits. They welcomed the elevation of the Sub-Group on Banking and Financial Matters into the Working Group on Banking and Financial Matters and its broadened scope including additional issues of Indian-Russian cooperation in the insurance sphere. Recognizing the vital role played by connectivity in increasing trade between the two countries, the Leaders welcomed the increased emphasis on implementation of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), which can play a key role in promoting economic integration in the region through reduction of time taken for the transit of goods. They also welcomed increased interaction between Indian and Russian customs authorities under the framework of INSTC. (ANI)