New Delhi [India], April 17: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday said that India and Russia have crossed bilateral trade target of USD 30 billion before 2025 adding that it is expected that the trade will continue to increase.
While addressing the India-Russia Business Dialogue in Delhi, he said, “We have crossed the bilateral trade target of USD 30 billion before the year 2025 which was the target year given to us by our leaderships. And in fact for the period April 2022 – February 2023, I understand that the trade is actually about USD 45 billion and the expectation is that this will continue to grow.”
Jaishankar said that India and Russia need to motivate businesses on both sides. He said that they are determined to make India a “global manufacturing hub.”
“We need to motivate business on both sides. You can see that there are big changes going on like Make in India. We are determined to make India a global manufacturing hub. I want to emphasise the opportunity of Make in India and Russia as Russia is known for its technological strength,” Jaishankar said.
Speaking about the relations between India and Russia, Jaishankar said that the two nations have historic people-to-people ties. He also spoke about the possibility for greater business between the two nations in the tourism sector.
In his remarks at the India-Russia Business Dialogue, Jaishankar said, “Our two countries historically have also had a strong people-to-people connection. But, I must point out that we actually get less than 1 per cent of Russia’s outbound tourism. So, now when we are talking today of exploring new areas and new opportunities, I would also flag that whether more direct flights to more destinations will provide a possibility for greater business when it comes to tourism.”
EAM Jaishankar emphasised that the ties between India and Russia have not changed. He said, “Our partnership today is a subject of attention and comment, not because it has changed, but because it has not. Indeed, it has been among the steadiest of the major relationships of the world in the contemporary era. But that by itself is not enough.”
Jaishankar said that Russia is looking more towards Asia and for India, it means broadening of engagement between the two nations which was overly dependent on military, nuclear and supply space cooperation.
“We share a commitment to a multipolar world and that also means a multipolar Asia. Russia is today looking much more towards Asia, a reassessment from its traditional focus. For India, this could mean a broadening out of our engagement that was overly reliant on the triad of military, nuclear and supply space cooperation,” Jaishankar said.
“For Russia also it presents a broader set of options as Russia looks eastwards, its resources and technology complementarity can be a powerful contribution to India’s growth. And this is a growth of a 3.5 trillion economy that is expected to grow at more than 7 per cent for at least a decade or more. And I would say that our ties, our cooperation are best advanced through more intensive bilateral engagement,” he added.
In his address at the India-Russia Business Dialogue, he said, “We are discussing the importance of connectivity and the north-south and maritime corridors have been considered. There is also discussion on payment issues like International trade settlement in the Indian Rupee.”
EAM Jaishankar said that there is concern regarding the trade imbalance. He highlighted the need to work with Russia on a very urgent basis to address the trade imbalance. He said that addressing the issue means addressing the impediments, whether they are market access impediments, non-tariff barriers or they are regarding payment and logistics.
“There is also understandable concern about the trade imbalance which these new volumes have created. And we need to work together with our Russian friends on a very urgent basis of how to address that imbalance. And addressing that imbalance really means addressing the impediments, whether they are market access impediments, whether they are non-tariff barriers, whether they are related to payments or to logistics,” Jaishankar said.
He further said, “I really cannot emphasize this enough. I think we should also, in a business gathering be honest about the short and medium-term challenges that we face. And there could be, quite frankly, there could be over compliance there could be over anxiety or even over caution on our side and equally on the Russian side there could be an inadequate appreciation of the concerns and the risks that Indian businesses face. So I would say what really the future of our economic cooperation requires is the willingness, the ability to really look at it from the point of view of the other party and then come up with solutions which will overcome the obstacles.”
In his remarks at the India-Russia Business Dialogue, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov said that his country is looking forward to intensifying negotiations on Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India.
While addressing the Russia-India Business Dialogue, Manturov who is also the Russian minister of industry and Trade said, “Together with Eurasian Economic Commission, we are looking forward to intensifying negotiations on Free Trade Agreement with India.”