India and Russia have agreed to hold the first ever Annual Business Summit in early October this year. The summit, to be hosted by India, would involve major companies from both sides chalking out ways and deals to expedite bilateral trade and investment.
India and Russia had originally set a target of $30 billion in two-way investment by 2025 but the target was achieved already this year, seven years earlier than the set time frame.
"In 2017 annual trade between India and Russia has reached $10.17 billion. We discussed ways and means to increase this momentum, ensure balanced trade, and remove barriers to trade. Two-way investments have already crossed the USD$30 billion target, which we had set for 2025. We have therefore proposed that we enhance this figure to USD$50 billion by 2025," Sushma Swaraj, India's minister of external affairs, said after the meeting of the India-Russia Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific Technical and Cultural Cooperation on Friday.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov and Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj co-chair a meeting of the Russia-India Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation pic.twitter.com/IqTBQVu9IE— Government of Russia (@GovernmentRF) September 14, 2018
India expects bilateral relation will further gain momentum after Russian President Vladimir Putin visits India on October 4, during which he will be discussing major energy and trade-related issues with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
During the annual summit, the two countries are also expected to sign the contract for S-400 air defense systems, Ka-226T multi-role helicopters, frigates and assault rifles that India intends to purchase as part of its armed forces modernization plan.
Taking the level of co-operation at the next stage, Shushma Swaraj has informed that both countries are considering jointly taking up projects in third countries as well.
"We discussed the possibilities of working together on projects in the third country as a new dimension of our strategic partnership," Swaraj added.
To boost the two-flow of tourists, both countries are working on further liberalizing visa regulations. Recently, the Russian government enabled electronic visas for Indian nationals visiting the Far East in Russia.
The two countries have also started exploring new avenues to boost bilateral trade, which is modest in comparison to the Russia-China trade turnover that is going to breach the $100 billion level in 2018.