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India, Russia express intent for CECA


June 16, 2011 - New Delhi

India and Russia on Thursday expressed the political intent to move towards a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).

The development came during the bilateral meeting between the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma and the Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Elvira Nebullina at St Petersburg today.

Both sides indicated that the dialogue will enable the two countries to realize the potential of cooperation that exist between the two countries. The Russian side informed that they will first initiate the consultation with their custom partners on the issue.

"This economic cooperation can no longer be limited to purchase of defense equipment or investment in oil and gas, although these are highly valued by both countries, but must extend beyond government to government trade and investment," said Sharma.

"Our common target is to achieve USD 20 billion in trade by 2015 and this can only be done through broad based extensive business cooperation," he added.

Anand Sharma also took up the market access in the Russian Federation for Indian products specially agri products and pharma.

The Minister outlined specific steps that need to be taken in this direction such as, participating in the Pharma 2020 Programme of Russia by setting up production units in Russia - this would require suitable facilitation by Russia; streamlining registration process; sharing of information on drugs that are imported by Russia and on assessed production volumes of strategically identified medicines; setting up the Task Force agreed under MOU for Pharma and Bio-pharma sectors; market access for drugs that are exported to USA, EU and Japan, etc.

"There is considerable scope for enhancement of trade as well as investments in the pharmaceutical sector. The Indian pharmaceutical products are of international standards and cheaper than other markets on an average by 30-40 percent," he said.

Anand Sharma co chaired Inter-governmental Commission, who has led bilateral economic cooperation with the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Sergei Ivanov.

With regard to business deals NMDC, the country's largest iron ore producer, and Russian steel maker OJSC Severstal took a firm view that both firms would invest a total of Rs 9,000 crore in setting up the plant near Bellary in Karnataka.

The plant will have an initial capacity of two million tonnes a year (MTPA) expandable to five MTPA. The two firms signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on 10.12.2010 to float a 50:50 joint-venture company that would set up a five million tonne steel plant in Bellary, Karnataka. There is a lot of interest for collaboration in IT and Telecom sectors

Furthermore, it was agreed to form six working groups under India Russia Working Group on Trade and Economic Cooperation (IRWGTEC) with Government and private participation on IT, Pharma, Banking and finance modernization, precision engineering and nano technology.

ANI

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