India, Russia to discuss free trade agreement, ways to bolster bilateral trade

Nirmala Sitharaman and Russia’s Denis Manturov will discuss on Thursday possibility of a free trade agreement, or FTA, between India and Eurasian Economic Union


Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Russia president Vladimir Putin. Photo: AFP
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Russia president Vladimir Putin. Photo: AFP

Chennai: Trade ministers of India and Russia are expected to chalk out a road map for signing of a free trade agreement (FTA) with the Eurasian Economic Union and take up issues to boost bilateral trade at a meeting in Chennai on Thursday.

The Eurasian Economic Union includes Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan.

Commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her Russian counterpart Denis Manturov are slated to address the India-Russia Business Forum after inaugurating the International Engineering Sourcing Show (IESS).

The ministers are expected to take stock of the report of the joint study group on the feasibility of a free trade agreement (FTA) between the India and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and decide on the timeframe for bilateral negotiations and components of the proposed pact.

Russian deputy PM Yury Trutnev in India for a four-day visit

The two sides may also take up the issue of mutual market access for agricultural and processed food products, including dairy products and bovine meat, to widen the range of products for bilateral trade.

Several measures, including an agreement on a free trade zone between the EAEU and India, is expected to help increase the bilateral trade with Russia to $30 billion by 2025, which stood at $6.17 billion in 2015-16.

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