Russia, India to discuss ways of boosting trade on February 12-13

Other News Materials 9 February 2008 01:56 (UTC +04:00)

( RIA Novosti) - Russia's economics minister will pay a working visit to India on February 12-13 to discuss measures to expand bilateral trade and investment cooperation, a ministry spokesman said on Friday.

Economic Development and Trade Minister Elvira Nabiullina will attend the second Russian-Indian forum on trade and investment in New Delhi. Trade-boosting measures will top the talks agenda.

" India currently accounts for a mere 1% of Russia's total foreign trade. We account for a similar portion of theirs," said Sergei Chernyshyov, director for foreign trade at the ministry.

Bilateral trade is currently at an annual level of $5-6 billion, but the countries aim to expand it to $10 billion, he said.

The plans have been held back by Russia's recent ban on the import of Indian plants, including sesame, nuts and rice, with Indian tea, coffee and spices allowed only through the Leningrad and Kaliningrad regions in northwest Russia.

Russia and India also agreed to lift an embargo on the import of tobacco and vegetable mixes from February 6.