India Proposes Setting-up Free Trade Zones for Russian Investors
India wants to encourage Russian investments and has suggested setting up a free trade zone for Russian companies.
In September 2018, Indian Commerce and Industry minister Suresh Prabhu met with his Russian counterpart to discuss enhancing bilateral trade and investment. The minister invited the governors of the Russian Far East to explore areas of co-operation with local businesses and strengthen bilateral economic ties. He also talked about the possibilities of mutual cooperation in sectors such as mining, agriculture and tourism.
According to India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, the two way investments between Russia and India have already surpassed the US$30 billion target, which the countries have set for 2025. Now the countries seek to boost the bilateral trade turnover to US$50 billion by 2025.
Russia’s Far East is of importance to India as it receives LNG shipped in from the Russian Arctic coast , has invested millions into Siberian goldmines and is a major player in the processing of Yakutia diamonds.
The two countries earlier discussed creating a ‘green corridor’ for the smooth transit of goods. They want to create a list of entrepreneurs or companies whose goods will be exempt from regular customs inspections.
Moscow and New Delhi are also interested in increasing the share of ruble and rupee in bilateral settlements. According to the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov, the share of settlements in rubles for exports is currently 20 percent, and for imports, about 21 percent, and are looking at developing bilateral trade exclusively in their own currencies.