Vladivostok, Aug 12 : Five Indian states on Monday signed five Memoranda of Understanding on cooperation in various sectors, ranging from diamond to tourism, with five regions of the Russian Far East.
An Indian delegation comprising Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and chief ministers of Goa, Gujarat, Haryana and UP and over 100 business people is currently visiting the Russian Pacific city of Vladivostok. During the day, the delegation members held meetings with heads of the Russian Far Eastern regions and businesses.
"We discussed about investment in the Far East region leading to greater economic opportunities and trade between the two countries," Goyal said.
Goa signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Kamchatka Territory on cooperation in coal production and tourism.
Uttar Pradesh and Zabaykalsky Territory signed an MoU on cooperation in agriculture and food production.
Haryana concluded a document with the Sakhalin region on cooperation in oil and gas industry.
Maharashtra and Buryatia signed an MoU on cooperation in machine building and tourism.
Gujarat and Yakutia also agreed to cooperate in diamond production.The Russian Far Eastern Federal University, which hosted a meeting between Russian and Indian delegations, also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Amity University on mutual opening of representative offices and cooperation in education.
The National Skill Development Corporation also signed a MoU with Russia's Far Eastern Agency.
The visit of the Indian delegation comes less than a month ahead of the Eastern Economic Forum, which will have Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the chief guest. Goyal voiced confidence that a dozen MoUs would be signed during Modi's visit.
"When the prime minister will visit the EEF, we will have over a dozen MoUs that are planned to be executed at that time, some of which we are discussing today and will finalise over the next 20 days," he said.
While Goyal led the Indian side, Yury Trutnev, the presidential plenipotentiary envoy to Russian Far Eastern Federal District and deputy prime minister, headed the Russian delegation to the talks.
Sectors like energy, processing and packaging, vocational training and higher education exchanges were discussed in the bilateral talks.
“We are seeing certain products where we can look at skilling the Russian people for carrying out activities of production and processing, for example the diamond industry is coming in a big way to explore the potential in the Far East. You have a lot of diamond manufacturing, but the processing is not done in Russia. I am going to discuss with Russian leaders to see how we can skill Russian people also to understand how to process diamonds,” Goyal told Sputnik news agency.
Goyal also hoped for direct flights between New Delhi and the Russian Far East.
"That is one of the areas that I would like to discuss today with the Russian leadership because I believe that will be a first step to have greater engagement between Russia and India, particularly the Far East region. I am sure we can mutually work out a matter by which we can have more direct flights between the Far East, at least, to begin with, Vladivostok and Delhi … This will give a big boost to business on both sides."
The minister expects more interactions between the two sides in future and said that he was confident about a return visit to India by the Russian business persons.
“I would think that it would be a logical outcome of any such engagement, because ultimately it is partnership that will define the success of the Indian-Russian joint ventures. I am quite confident that going forward we will see more and more Russian businesspersons also coming to India to discuss potential opportunities together, whether it’s in Russia or in India.
"The more the engagement between the two countries, the more, I think, we will be able to further the strong relation that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have,” Goyal said. (UNI)