India, Russia agree for Eco Coop Agreement

New Delhi: With an aim to boost trade ties, India and Russia have agreed to jointly study a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement with Belarus-Kazakhstan and exuded confidence to acheive ambitious an trade target of USD 20 billion by 2015.

"We exchanged constructive views on various aspects of India-Russia trade and investment cooperation. We sought definite solutions to certain outstanding problems confronting our business communities and explored ways to enhance our trade turnover," External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said after his meeting with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.

"To forge greater contacts, we have agreed to jointly study a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) with the Belarus- Kazakhstan-Russia Customs Union," he said. The Customs Union between Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus had formally came into existence on January, 2010.

The three countries took their economic integration to a new level with the implementation of the common economic space which provides for free movement of goods, services, people and investments. Besides, he said, the two countries agreed to redouble the efforts to achieve the USD 20 billion trade target by 2015 on account of good trade performance in the first three months of this calendar year.

"The figures for the first quarter of this calendar year are encouraging but clearly more needs to be done," Krishna said. Echoing similar views, Rogozin said there is tremendous potential to increase the trade between the two nations.

The bilateral trade between India and Russia was nearly USD 9 billion in 2011. India`s exports to Russia include pharmaceuticals, coffee, tea, tobacco, processed fruits and cotton yarn while India`s imports include mineral products, natural pearls, machinery and equipment and textiles.