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Trade on agenda as PM leaves for Russia, China today
KV Prasad
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 19
The trade ties with Russia and China will be high on the agenda when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh embarks on an official tour of the two countries between October 20 and 24, besides interaction on bilateral, regional and international issues.

With bilateral trade between India and Russia growing from $8.85 billion in 2011 to $11.04 billion last year, New Delhi is confident that given the current pace of nearly 25 per cent rise, both countries can achieve the target of $20 billion by 2015.

Ahead of his departure for the first-leg of the visit from October 20-22 to Moscow, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told Russian media that “while we face the challenge of a difficult global economic environment, I am optimistic about the prospects for our trade and investment relations.

He stressed both sides were encouraging greater and more active business-to-business relations, including through the India-Russia CEO’s Council and the India-Russia Trade and Investment Forum. On the margins of the 14th Annual Summit that will be attended by Prime Minister Singh and Russian President Vladimir Putin, a meeting of the newly re-constituted CEO’s Council is scheduled to be held.

The Prime Minister said the Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation had placed high priority on expanding economic relations and that New Delhi would like better flow of information about each other’s business capabilities, and opportunities.

Earlier, Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh mentioned the possibility of Chinese investment through opening industrial park, a proposal that is being examined. Currently, a delegation from Chinese government is in India to discuss the issue. On the sidelines of the visit, a meeting of the India-China CEOs Forum will be taking place and both the Prime Ministers are expected to receive their recommendations to expand trade ties.

Boosting ties

  • New Delhi is confident that given the current pace of nearly 25 per cent rise in bilateral trade with Russia, both countries can achieve the target of $20 billion by 2015
  • With Beijing, India's focus will be on ending the trade imbalance of nearly $ 30 billion. A figure of $66 billion was achieved last year; a decline from over $74 billion in 2011





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