As a follow up of the visit of the Prime Minister of India to Sochi (Russian Federation) for an informal summit with the President of the Russian federation on the 21st of May 2018, the Commerce and Industry Minister of India led the Indian delegation at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on the 24th and 25th of May 2018. The visit was very successful with the Minister meeting 5 Russian Ministers and several top Business leaders representing Railways, Communications & Media, Fertilizers and Startups. He held meetings with Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev, Minister of Transport Yevgeny Deitrich, Minister for Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin, Minister for the Development of the Far East Alexander Kozlov, and Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov. Furthering the goal of increased cooperation between the regions of the Russian Federation, the Minister also had meetings with 4 Governors of Stavropol, Yaroslavl, Udmurtia and Ingushetia.
During the various meetings, both sides appreciated and noted the fact that India-Russia trade has increased considerably, but was still less than the potential. The thrust of the conversations was creating and executing a plan for increased India Russian trade and economic co-operation. Towards this end logistics, infrastructure, knowledge based economies, diamonds and gold were highlighted as important focus areas. In the infrastructure sector, the status of the Joint study with Russian Railways on the high speed Railway line between Nagpur and Secunderabad was discussed. The Indian Minister also highlighted the need to set up Joint Ventures which should participate in tenders in third countries. Knowledge based sectors like pharmaceuticals, innovative industries, digital economies were discussed as target areas of Joint Co-operation. With the Russian Deputy Prime Minister the Indian Minister highlighted need for co-operation and creating a win-win plan in areas of gold, diamond, timber and other natural resources.
The visit also discussed creation of mechanisms to find complementarities and remove barriers between the economies of the two countries. The Commerce and Industry Minister of India and the Minister of Economic Development discussed the articulation of the Joint Action Plan on Increased India Russia Economic Co-operation and to submit the findings of the report before the Annual Summit between the Prime Minister of India and the Russian President later this year. The establishment of a strategic economic dialogue between the NITI Ayog (Indian side ) and the Ministry of Economic Development (Russian side) where experts from both sides would meet and discuss economic issues, which would have its first meeting later this year was discussed. Expediting the EaEU – India FTA negotiations was also underlined. The Indian Commerce and Industry Minister and the Russian Minister of Transport agreed that operationalising the International North South Transport Corridor would propel trade between the two countries to new heights by providing a faster more viable trade route, and therefore should be a priority for both.
The Minister had also invited the various Ministers, Governors and CEOs to bring a delegation of the top 100 CEOs to visit India for a summit and meeting, with government officials and Indian CEOs, where sector specific industries would meet each other to discuss, build contacts to create sustained engagement.