New Delhi: Russia's membership of WTO will have a "positive impact" in boosting its bilateral trade with India which is currently hovering around 10 billion dollars a year, far below their potential, according to Indian officials.

The officials said Russia’s formal accession into the World Trade Organization(WTO) after 18 years of negotiations was a bright spot amid the turbulence in the European economy.

The Russian entry into WTO will have a "positive impact" on bilateral trade and investment with India and also be "a considerable positive enabler", according to Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has already welcomed Russia's entry into the WTO but he voiced concern over the current level of Indo-Russian trade volume.

By contrast, the Russia-China trade is around 60 billion dollars each year.

Indian and Russian officials during talks between Prime Minister Singh and President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow were one in agreeing there is a huge potential to expand bilateral trade for which a ambitious target of 20 billion dollars has been set for 2015.

Pharmaceticals is one area which India is targeting for greater exports to Russia.

While closer integration with the global trading system will bring economic benefits to Russia, some estimates claim that it will give the economy a boost equivalent to the value of 1 percent of GDP per year; the rest of the world also stands to gain.

Although the tariff rates for imported goods have been declining ever since Russia first began its transition to a market economy 20 years ago, WTO membership will further accelerate the process of trade liberalization.

Tariffs on over 700 categories of products will be abolished or reduced, with the average import tariff rate expected to fall from 10 percent to 7 percent.

India has expressed its readiness to enter into a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with the Customs Union comprising Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan and has already decided to set up a Joint Study Group in this regard.

Talking to reporters on his way back home from Moscow, Singh said India's strong strategic partnership in nuclear energy, defence and space will, in future, be buttressed by a "stronger economic relationship."

"President (Dmitry) Medvedev and I met with some of the CEOs and there are good prospects in pharmaceuticals, steel, diamonds and hydrocarbons," he said.
     
The Prime Minister also mentioned that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told him at their meeting in Moscow that there are currently over 400 India-Russia cooperation projects.
     
The need to give a big push to Indo-Russian trade was stressed by Prime Minister Singh during his interaction with Russian CEOs after his summit talks with Medvedev.

Singh said that at a time of a global economic slowdown, when traditional engines of growth are in difficulty, the Indian and Russian economies can be natural partners in reviving growth, creating infrastructure and generating surpluses.

"The opportunity for a substantial expansion of our economic relations is now," he said.

A joint statement issued at the end of Singh's talks with Medvedev also noted that the two countries have decided to jointly study the possibility of a Comprehensive Economic
Cooperation Agreement between India and the Belarus-Kazakhstan-Russia Custom Union.

While closer integration with the global trading system will bring economic benefits to Russia, some estimates claim that it will give the economy a boost equivalent to the value of 1 percent of GDP per year; the rest of the world also stands to gain.

Although the tariff rates for imported goods have been declining ever since Russia first began its transition to a market economy 20 years ago, WTO membership will further accelerate the process of trade liberalization.

Tariffs on over 700 categories of products will be abolished or reduced, with the average import tariff rate expected to fall from 10 percent to 7 percent.

Prime Minister Singh had asked industry captains from both sides to work for enhancement of economic relations to take them to the level of close political ties shared by the two countries.

"India and Russia are strategic partners and we have a broad-ranging relationship.

However, our bilateral trade and investment cooperation have not kept pace with our close political ties. This is despite the fact that there are strong complementarities between our two trillion-dollar-plus economies," he had said.

India expects greater trade in specific areas like nuclear energy, IT, pharma and infrastructure with Russia, Singh said.

Rough diamonds is another area where India expects to convert adhoc contacts with Russian industry into long-term arrangements, he said.

"India can be an ideal partner for Russia in the pharmaceuticals sector, which has been identified by Russia as a priority area. India has already emerged as the most reliable supplier of quality generic drugs to Russia.

We should consolidate our cooperation in this sector, including through the establishment of joint ventures," Singh said.

He also said offshoring of jobs to India has helped European and American companies save costs and collaboration in this sector could prove beneficial to Russia.

"There are significant opportunities for Russian companies in India particularly in the area of infrastructure, construction and engineering services. We invite them to invest much more in India," he said.

India had estimated over 500 billion investment as the investment need in its infrastructure sector by the end of its 11th Five-Year Plan in 2012.

India and Russia are already exploring the setting up a joint investment fund to promote greater cooperation between the regions of the two countries.

New Delhi: Russia's membership of WTO will have a "positive impact" in boosting its bilateral trade with India which is currently hovering around 10 billion dollars a year, far below their potential, according to Indian officials.

The officials said Russia’s formal accession into the World Trade Organization(WTO) after 18 years of negotiations was a bright spot amid the turbulence in the European economy.

The Russian entry into WTO will have a "positive impact" on bilateral trade and investment with India and also be "a considerable positive enabler", according to Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has already welcomed Russia's entry into the WTO but he voiced concern over the current level of Indo-Russian trade volume.

By contrast, the Russia-China trade is around 60 billion dollars each year.

Indian and Russian officials during talks between Prime Minister Singh and President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow were one in agreeing there is a huge potential to expand bilateral trade for which a ambitious target of 20 billion dollars has been set for 2015.

Pharmaceticals is one area which India is targeting for greater exports to Russia.

While closer integration with the global trading system will bring economic benefits to Russia, some estimates claim that it will give the economy a boost equivalent to the value of 1 percent of GDP per year; the rest of the world also stands to gain.

Although the tariff rates for imported goods have been declining ever since Russia first began its transition to a market economy 20 years ago, WTO membership will further accelerate the process of trade liberalization.

Tariffs on over 700 categories of products will be abolished or reduced, with the average import tariff rate expected to fall from 10 percent to 7 percent.

India has expressed its readiness to enter into a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with the Customs Union comprising Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan and has already decided to set up a Joint Study Group in this regard.

Talking to reporters on his way back home from Moscow, Singh said India's strong strategic partnership in nuclear energy, defence and space will, in future, be buttressed by a "stronger economic relationship."

"President (Dmitry) Medvedev and I met with some of the CEOs and there are good prospects in pharmaceuticals, steel, diamonds and hydrocarbons," he said.
     
The Prime Minister also mentioned that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told him at their meeting in Moscow that there are currently over 400 India-Russia cooperation projects.
     
The need to give a big push to Indo-Russian trade was stressed by Prime Minister Singh during his interaction with Russian CEOs after his summit talks with Medvedev.

Singh said that at a time of a global economic slowdown, when traditional engines of growth are in difficulty, the Indian and Russian economies can be natural partners in reviving growth, creating infrastructure and generating surpluses.

"The opportunity for a substantial expansion of our economic relations is now," he said.

A joint statement issued at the end of Singh's talks with Medvedev also noted that the two countries have decided to jointly study the possibility of a Comprehensive Economic
Cooperation Agreement between India and the Belarus-Kazakhstan-Russia Custom Union.

While closer integration with the global trading system will bring economic benefits to Russia, some estimates claim that it will give the economy a boost equivalent to the value of 1 percent of GDP per year; the rest of the world also stands to gain.

Although the tariff rates for imported goods have been declining ever since Russia first began its transition to a market economy 20 years ago, WTO membership will further accelerate the process of trade liberalization.

Tariffs on over 700 categories of products will be abolished or reduced, with the average import tariff rate expected to fall from 10 percent to 7 percent.

Prime Minister Singh had asked industry captains from both sides to work for enhancement of economic relations to take them to the level of close political ties shared by the two countries.

"India and Russia are strategic partners and we have a broad-ranging relationship.

However, our bilateral trade and investment cooperation have not kept pace with our close political ties. This is despite the fact that there are strong complementarities between our two trillion-dollar-plus economies," he had said.

India expects greater trade in specific areas like nuclear energy, IT, pharma and infrastructure with Russia, Singh said.

Rough diamonds is another area where India expects to convert adhoc contacts with Russian industry into long-term arrangements, he said.

"India can be an ideal partner for Russia in the pharmaceuticals sector, which has been identified by Russia as a priority area. India has already emerged as the most reliable supplier of quality generic drugs to Russia.

We should consolidate our cooperation in this sector, including through the establishment of joint ventures," Singh said.

He also said offshoring of jobs to India has helped European and American companies save costs and collaboration in this sector could prove beneficial to Russia.

"There are significant opportunities for Russian companies in India particularly in the area of infrastructure, construction and engineering services. We invite them to invest much more in India," he said.

India had estimated over 500 billion investment as the investment need in its infrastructure sector by the end of its 11th Five-Year Plan in 2012.

India and Russia are already exploring the setting up a joint investment fund to promote greater cooperation between the regions of the two countries.

(Agencies)