Russia-India trade turnover witnesses 'unprecedented growth' in first half of 2022: Russian envoy

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The trade turnover between Russia and India witnessed an "unprecedented growth" in the first half of 2022 and reached over USD 11 billion, which allows the likelihood of achieving the goal of bringing the level of mutual trade to USD 30 billion by 2025, Russia's top diplomat in India said on Wednesday.

MOSCOW/ NEW DLEHI: The trade turnover between Russia and India witnessed an "unprecedented growth" in the first half of 2022 and reached over USD 11 billion, which allows the likelihood of achieving the goal of bringing the level of mutual trade to USD 30 billion by 2025, Russia's top diplomat in India said on Wednesday.

Russian Ambassador to India Denis Alipov made the remarks ahead of the meeting between President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Uzbekistan this week where the two leaders are expected to discuss issues of strategic stability, the situation in the Asia Pacific region and bilateral cooperation within the UN and G20.

"We can say that our trade and economic cooperation is transforming. In the first half of 2022, we saw an unprecedented growth in trade by July it reached more than USD 11 billion, and USD 13.6 billion for the entire 2021."

"This is a solid figure, which allows us to discuss the likelihood of achieving the goal of bringing the level of mutual trade to USD 30 billion by 2025," Alipov told state-owned TASS news agency.

He said more than two-thirds of trade currently falls on fertilizer and hydrocarbon raw material supplies.

Although there is already a strong demand in these areas, there are now considerably more opportunities to broaden the economic dialogue as a whole, he added. The envoy noted that there are certain trends and prerequisites for this.

The interest of both Russian businesses in India and Indian businesses in new sectors in the Russian market is growing as issues with securing mutual settlements and logistical support of trade are resolved, he added.

"Against the background of flagship projects, primarily the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in the state of Tamil Nadu, we are also participating in the construction of grain-oriented steel plant in Maharashtra, initiatives oil refining and polypropylene production in the state of Gujarat, modernization of railway, port and airport infrastructure," he said.

Alipov added that there are plans to increase the supply of pharmaceuticals, agricultural goods, electronics, and automotive parts from India to the Russian market as well as high-tech goods, gold, and precious metals from Russia to the Indian market.

The diplomat said that other promising areas of bilateral cooperation include the mining sector, civil aviation, and shipbuilding.

"We need unconventional approaches and innovative proposals not only in traditional industries, but also in promising areas - digitalisation, fintech, artificial intelligence, hydrogen energy, advanced solutions in urban construction.

Considerable efforts will be needed for a deeper mutual adaptation of economic models, including financial infrastructure and the capital market in order to reach a new level of relations," the ambassador added.

Alipov also said that Russia and India were engaged in an active dialogue on the mutual recognition of Mir and RuPay payment systems.

"We are engaged in an active dialogue on this issue. It is more about the synchronisation of payment systems when Russians can use Mir cards in India, and Indian citizens can use RuPay cards in Russia," he said.

"Let's not guess when this happens, but the need for this is strong on both sides," he said.

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