India-China trade deal: In an attempt to balance Russia's merchandise trade deficit with India, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Denis Valentinovich Manturov on Monday expressed his desire to strengthen trade with New Delhi. His remarks came as India and Russia are discussing a free trade agreement, a move that would further boost bilateral commercial ties that have flourished since the war in Ukraine.
Addressing a press briefing, Manturov said that proposals across various sectors were discussed. "We have allowed the import of original goods without the consent of the rights owners from unfriendly countries. Looking forward to intensifying negotiations on FTA with India," he added.
India-Russia trade and payments issue
The visiting minister further said that Russia and India are also working on signing a bilateral agreement for the 'Promotion and Protection of Investments.' "That's one of the issues which we just discussed with your colleague, so because of lack of input from India, it's not enough to use the Rupee so we need to boost the trade from India and then in this case we are looking at balance like for example, we have with China. We have USD 200 billion trade with China, and it's balanced," said Manturov on the India-Russia trade and payments issue.
Notably, the China-Russia trade surge has increased the use of the Chinese renminbi. China's total exports to Russia grew to USD 76.12 billion in 2022, representing an increase of over 12 per cent compared to a year earlier. Russia's economy has been hit by Western sanctions due to its invasion of Ukraine, resulting in increased use of the Yuan. The shift has made Russia a rare example of a country adopting the renminbi rather than the US dollar or euro as a reserve currency.
Russian Dy PM on a two-day visit to India
It should be mentioned here that Manturov is on a two-day visit to India to co-chair the Intergovernmental Russian-Indian Commission, which is aimed at enhancing trade ties between the two countries.
On the first day of his visit, Manturov co-chaired the 24th India-Russia Inter-governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC) The IRIGC-TEC is the primary institutional mechanism supervising economic cooperation.
It integrates six working groups on economic and trade cooperation, modernisation and industrial cooperation, energy, tourism and culture, science and technology, and IT. A plenary meeting of the intergovernmental commission (IGC) will be held on Tuesday, following which the co-chairs will sign the final protocol of the 24th IGC meeting.
(With ANI inputs)