Invest India facilitates delegation led by Commerce & Industry Minister in Russia’s Far East
Author: Atul Bist
India and Russia have been perennial allies, committed to cooperation in significant economic and strategic initiatives that have largely been possible because of the continued bilateral discourse between the two nations.
The key to achieving the target of $ 30 bn in bilateral trade by 2025 lies in identifying new growth projects across regions and sectors, both in India and Russia.
To that end, from 11 August to 13 August 2019, the Hon’ble Minister of Commerce & Industry and Railways, Mr. Piyush Goyal, led a delegation comprising representation from Indian state ministries, central ministries, and industry stakeholders, along with Hon’ble Chief Ministers of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Goa at Vladivostok in the Russian Far East to explore investment opportunities and strike close partnerships with the Far East provinces.
A precursor to the Eastern Economic Forum – 2019, this visit from the delegation has set the stage for further strengthening of bilateral ties and major announcements on collaborative initiatives for the economic success of the region when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Vladivostok in early September. The PM will be the chief guest for the 5th edition of the annual Eastern Economic Forum, which is held each year in Vladivostok to support the economic development of Russia’s Far East and to expand international cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. Other key leaders participating in this year’s EEF include Mr. Shinzo Abe, the PM of Japan, Mr Mahathir Mohamad, the PM of Malaysia, and Mr. Khaltmaagiin Battulga, the President of Mongolia.
The delegation included a 125 strong representation from business stakeholders, and 36 officials from Centre and state who interacted with Russian counterparts from the provinces and industry across 8 sessions to focus on opportunities in the Mining and Processing of Diamond and other rare metals, Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Processing, Oil and Gas, Forestry and Timber, Coal and Power, Ceramics, Tourism, Infrastructure, Healthcare and Pharma sectors.
Indian entities are already engaged in key sectors such as Power, Coal, and Oil and Gas, and are looking to further gain from the investment-friendly Russian stance for the natural resource-rich Far East region, which includes significant incentives and tax breaks allowing Indian investments and labour for projects.
In fact, the Plenary session that saw participation from Indian CMs and Russian Governors from the Far East provinces, extended into the signing of more G2G MOUs on 12 August 2019. While UP wanted to collaborate with Zabaikalskiy Krai in jointly developing the Agriculture and Food Processing sectors, Haryana focused on a tie-up with Sakhalin, a region known for its Oil and Gas sector. Gujarat and Maharashtra forged direct alliances with Sakha on Diamond trade and Buryatiya on Tourism, respectively. The State of Goa’s MOU with Kamchatka, collaborating on Metals and Minerals, was a big win too.
A key highlight of the visit was the Commerce & Industry Minister’s meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, in which it was collectively agreed that a successful visit of the delegation would expedite the process of increasing India’s footprint further, and of finalizing key opportunities that shall enable long-term sustainable growth in the Russian Far East.