“Apart from the traditional pillars, we are working together to explore potential areas of cooperation in areas like agriculture, coking coal, pharma & health sector, digital & IT sectors, exchange of skilled manpower, cooperation between the regions including in the Far East, cooperation in the Arctic, logistics and connectivity. Our joint efforts towards gradual reduction of trade barriers and forging free trade agreements would have a multiplier effect in this direction,” suggested MoS External Affairs V Muraleedharan in his message for India-Russia Young Scholars International Conference 2020 held on Friday.
“Over these glorious 20 years of collaboration, our traditional pillars of cooperation – defence, energy, nuclear and space have done exceedingly well and are poised to do even better as we are looking forward to investments, partnerships and joint production in these areas,” he said, adding, “Our joint efforts have led to more than 40% increase in mutual trade with an upward trend in both imports & exports. This upward trajectory was challenged by COVID imposed restrictions, but we are seeing a gradual recovery.”
“Strengthening of our bilateral relations is a foreign policy priority for both our countries. We have great geopolitical complementarities and synergy on global issues,” the MoS said as he referred to India’s election to the non-permanent seat of UNSC that would provide Delhi and Moscow additional opportunities to coordinate efforts on most pressing issues of global concern.
“These years have also seen a great deal of domestic developments in both the countries. As the largest democracy, India has made its way to the fifth largest economy in the world. Today, we focus on taking India to new heights, to build a new India – an Atma-Nirbhar (self-reliant) India. India is making efforts to be self-reliant by re-orienting its terms of engagement to become part of global value chains – “Make in India” to “Make for the World”. We look forward to close cooperation with Russia as we make strides in our efforts,” the Minister said as he hinted at joint efforts under Make in India program.
“The world is changing in various ways, but one constant factor is the strength of our bilateral relations,” Muraleedharan emphasised.