Second India-Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue held

New Delhi: The Second India-Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue (IRSED) was held in New Delhi, under the chairmanship of Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice-Chairman, National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog and Timur Maksimov, Deputy Minister of the Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

The Second meeting of the IRSED focussed on six core areas of cooperation, namely, Development of Transport Infrastructure and Technologies; Development of Agriculture and Agro-Processing sector; Small and Medium Business support; Digital Transformation and Frontier Technologies; Cooperation in Trade, Banking, Finance, and Industry; and Tourism and Connectivity.

“The IRSED comes at an opportune moment as India embarks upon ensuring the fruits of development devolve to the grassroots, as every citizen of the country becomes part of the growth and development process, as evidenced by a forward-looking Union Budget. Increased investment and international cooperation is key”, said Dr Rajiv Kumar at the Second India-Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue.

“Results of today’s discussions will help enhance strategic economic cooperation between our countries. We must discuss and prepare specific proposals for joint action in the future and establish economic relations which reflect the potential of cooperation between the two countries”, said Timur Maksimov.

The Dialogue included parallel round tables which discussed areas of cooperation and concrete roadmaps for future negotiations across outlined core areas. Participants included government officials, business leaders and experts, bringing in diverse perspectives for ideation.

The round table on Digital transformation and Frontier Transformation focussed on areas of collaboration between India and Russia in the digital space and frontier technologies. Various platforms developed by Russia and how these can be leveraged by India, and vice versa, and potential for future collaborations were discussed across various sectors such as payments platform, joint startup ecosystem, use of digital technology in various areas such as education, construction and skilling.

Development of Transport Infrastructure and Technologies round table discussed areas of cooperation across various modes of transport such as speed upgradation, safety and passenger comfort in railways, creation of twin ports between India and Russia, ship building and river navigation, research and development, and ensuring predictability of cost and movement schedules across transport corridors.

For increasing collaboration and cooperation between Small and Medium Businesses in India and Russia, the round table recommended setting up of nodal points of interaction between the two countries. Ensuring access to finance, seamless digital banking, access to E-markets and broad-based engagement across sectors were also discussed.

The IRSED was established following a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding signed between NITI Aayog and the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation during the 19th edition of the Annual India-Russia Bilateral Summit, which was held on October 5, 2018, in New Delhi.

The First India-Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue was held in St. Petersburg between November 25-26, 2018, and was chaired by Maxim Oreshkin, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, and Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog.

Actionable framework shall be worked out and included in the joint statement to be released soon.

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