MOSCOW (Sputnik) – BRICS leaders will discuss the economic partnership strategy at the upcoming summit in India, with the goal of creating new cooperation formats, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with Sputnik and the IANS news agency.
"The participants in the BRICS Summit in Goa will look at the initial results of implementing the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership adopted in Ufa and finalize the draft of BRICS Roadmap for Trade, Economic and Investment Cooperation until 2020. We intend to establish new formats and mechanisms to cooperate with our partners, in which concerted measures aimed at developing our ties in various fields will be elaborated," Putin said.
The Russian leader added that issues relating to the strengthening of international security and stability, as well as enhancing the competitiveness of BRICS economies and the promotion of international development will also be discussed in Goa.
"We also support the initiatives put forward by the Indian chairmanship in such fields as BRICS collaboration in agriculture, railway transport, sports, tourism and building people-to-people contacts," Putin said.
Russia Seeking Modernization of Investment Protection Deal With India
Russia and India could update the bilateral agreement on the promotion and protection of investments, the Russian president suggested.
"I am convinced that Russia and India can considerably boost bilateral investments. To stimulate mutual investments, we plan to discuss with our Indian partners the possibility of updating the bilateral Agreement for the Promotion and Mutual Protection of Investments. We encourage the development institutes – the Russian Direct Investment Fund and Vnesheconombank – to be more active in providing financial support for investment activities of the Russian companies," Putin said.
Russia, India Have Several Cooperation Memoranda Ready
Russia and India have finished preparing several memoranda of cooperation, Putin said in the interview.
"We will certainly discuss the issues of project funding through the New Development Bank and of a full-fledged launch of the BRICS Contingent Currency Reserve Pool. This implies an exchange of views on the ongoing work involving high representatives on security issues, relevant ministerial meetings, expert interaction formats, the BRICS Network University, and the Business Council. For instance, preparations have now been completed for the signing of memoranda of cooperation among the customs services and the diplomatic academies of our states, as well as of creating a platform for BRICS agricultural research," he said.
The Russian president thanked India for ensuring the continuity of the BRICS agenda following the Ufa Summit held in Russia in July 2015.
"The implementation of the adopted Ufa Declaration and Action Plan has started. The Indian partners have also proposed a number of initiatives that we plan to consider at the Summit," Putin said.
Putin Says Trade Turnover Slump With India Will Be Overcome
Russia and its Indian partners are set on overcoming the recent trade turnover drop, Putin said pointing to the complementary aspects of the Russian and Indian economies.
"India has been and remains Russia's major foreign trade partner. Even though in 2015 trade between the countries dropped by 7.8 percent, together with our Indian partners, we are resolved to overcome the negative trend, which, in our opinion, is largely associated with volatility on the global markets and in exchange rates. Especially since our commercial exchanges are mutually beneficial and their structure shows the complementarity of the two economies," Putin said.
Putin highlighted the successful joint Russia-India dialogue on trade and economic issues.
"The Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation is also working efficiently. Our foreign ministers, heads of staff of security councils and line ministries keep in touch on a regular basis. There is a gradual increase in inter-parliamentary, interregional, business and humanitarian exchanges. We have developed a strong legal framework featuring over 250 agreements," the Russian president said.
Russia and India have enjoyed mutually beneficial strategic relations, especially in the field of defense and military cooperation, since the 1960s.
BRICS is an association of five developing economies which comprise over one third of the world’s population. BRICS member-states (China, Russia, Brazil, India and South Africa) have a combined nominal GDP equivalent to approximately 20 percent of the gross world product.
According to Putin, Russia’s cumulative investments in India amount to about $4 billion, while Indian businesses have invested around $8 billion in the Russian economy.