19th India- Russia Annual Bilateral Summit
President of the Russian Federation, Mr. Vladimir V. Putin visited New Delhi on 4-5 October 2018, for the 19th edition of the Annual India-Russia Bilateral Summit. Large business delegations participated from both sides, representing important areas of bilateral cooperation. This highlighted the willingness and capacity of the business sectors of both countries to further strengthen economic, trade and investment partnerships.1
Keeping in mind the importance of inter-regional partnerships between the two sides, India has signed an MoU with Russia for fast-tracking International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) that will allow for smoother connectivity between the two countries via Iran.2
Pending issues pertaining to Customs Authorities, development of road and rail infrastructure and financial facilitation through bilateral discussions were also finalised.3
- The progress made on the target to increase bilateral trade to $30 Bn by 2025 was reviewed and appreciated by both sides.
- Discussions began on the Free Trade Agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union and its member states and the Republic of India. Both sides supported the idea to expedite the negotiation process.
- The Indian Institute of Foreign Trade and the All Russian Academy of Foreign Trade have been nominated to work alongside the Joint Study to work out a Joint Strategy of Action to develop trade and economic relations and investment cooperation.4
- The sides agreed to share the mandatory inspections/regulations requirements to be fulfilled at the time of exporting/importing of any product, to reduce any delays related to inspections.
- Launch of Green Corridor Project, which would simplify custom operations between India and Russia.
To strengthen ties between the Indian States and Russian Regions, agreements were signed between Assam and Sakhalin, Haryana and Bashkortostan, Goa and Kaliningrad, Odisha and Irkutsk, Vishakhapatnam and Vladivostok.5
It was also decided to further intensify direct contact between business, entrepreneurs and governmental bodies on both sides.6
Progress of Priority Investment Projects in the spheres of mining, metallurgy, power, oil and gas, railways, pharmaceuticals, IT, chemicals, infrastructure, automobile, aviation, space, shipbuilding and manufacturing was reviewed.7
- Diamond sector: the signing of new long-term contracts for rough diamond supplies by Public Joint Stock Company Alrosa to Indian companies was appreciated. Recent investments by Indian companies in diamond manufacturing in the Russian far east were also acknowledged.8
- Science and Technology: Further enhancement of cooperation in the field of Information and Communications Technology, particularly in Electronics System Design & Manufacturing, Software development, supercomputing, e-government, public services delivery, network security, security in the use of Information and communication technologies, fin-tech, Internet of things, standardization, radio control and regulation or radio frequency spectrum was discussed. Both sides also agreed to revive cooperation under the integrated long term programme for cooperation in the field of science and technology and innovations between the government of the Republic of India and the government of the Russian Federation. A roadmap was for further cooperation between laboratories, academia, universities, institutions and organisations in the scientific and technical areas of mutual priority.9
- Energy: The importance of further widening energy cooperation between India and Russia was acknowledged, considering India’s interest in Russian energy assets, including natural gas, as well as in the implementation of joint projects in the field of renewable energy sources.10 The possibility of closer cooperation on hydel and renewable energy sources and energy efficiency to reduce the negative impacts of climate change was also discussed.
- Sectors such as aluminium and agriculture were recognised as key areas for collaboration.11
- India conveyed its intention to import fertilizers from Russia.
- Infrastructure: Infrastructure development offers immense opportunities for cooperation between the two companies. The Indian Side invited Russian companies to partake in the development of industrial corridors in India, including in the areas of road and rail infrastructure, smart cities, construction of wagons and creation of a joint transportation logistics company.12
The work done by Invest India to promote the investment process for Russian investors was appreciated by both sides.13 The launch of “Single Window Service” by the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation has helped facilitate the operation of Indian companies in Russia.14
- Protocol for Consultations between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and MEA for the period 2019-202315
- MoU between the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation and the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog)16
- MoU between Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the Federal Space Agency of Russia ‘ROSCOSMOS’ on Joint activities in the field of Human Spaceflight Programme
- Memorandum of Cooperation between the Indian and Russian Railways
- Action Plan for Prioritization and Implementation of Cooperation Areas in the Nuclear Field
- MoU between the Russian Ministry of Transport and Indian Railways in the Development Cooperation in Transport Education
- MoU between the National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC), of India and the Russian Small and Medium Business Corporation (RSMB), on Cooperation in the field of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
- Cooperation Agreement in the fertilizers sector between the Russian Direct Investment Fund" ("RDIF”); PJSC Phosagro (PhosAgro) and Indian Potash Limited (IPL)