India and Russia sign customs pact to boost trade

Highlights:

  • India and Russia have initiated steps to remove the hindrances and boost commerce.
  • Both nations have signed an agreement in the area of customs and moving to liberalize business visas.
  • The bilateral trade during the last year was just $9.51 billion.
  • The two countries have fixed a target of $30 billion to be achieved by 2025.
  • An agreement reached very recently on customs which provides for rapid clearances of imported goods at the land and sea ports.
  • The two countries also recently concluded an agreement on setting up a Joint Study Group that will recommend contours of a Free Trade Agreement between India and the Eurasian Economic Union comprising Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia.
  • The Study Group will identify the goods with preferential access, which will help promote trade.
  • The two countries are also very close to an agreement on dairy exports from India to Russia.
  • Indian companies are looking at investments in Russia, particularly in the fertiliser, coal and pharmaceutical sectors.
  • On the Russian side, the country's Investment Fund is keen to invest in India, including in hi-tech projects.
  • Russian Railways has also expressed interest in working with its counterpart in India on upgradation and modernisation, particularly in the areas of high-speed trains and electronic security systems.
  • The US and other countries of the West which have imposed sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis.
  • The west imposed sanctions on Moscow after Crimea joined Russia in March 2014.
  • The standoff between them have been escalated because of Russia's role in the conflict in Ukraine.