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Russia-India Trade Set to Rise Again in 2019

Eurasia’s geopolitical and economic center of gravity continues to shift eastward as trade between Russia and India continues to expand, topping $10 billion in 2018.

Back in October, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited India to discuss expansion of trade and investment with India leader Mahendra Modi. Since then, the momentum in bilateral talks continues to drive forward.

“According to Russia’s Federal Customs Service, the trade turnover between Russia and India has been hovering between $8 billion and $10 billion over the past several years. Machines and equipment, mineral commodities, oil and oil refining products, precious stones and metals account for the bulk of Russian exports,” said Vladimir Padalko, Vice President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, speaking to TASS News Agency.

Padalko added that Russia and India have “set a reasonable task of bringing the trade turnover between the two countries to $30 billion, and mutual investments to $15 billion by 2025.”

Some of the burgeoning areas of trade include mineral and coal-based products, petrochemicals, agriculture, defense and nuclear technology.

The two countries continue to explore new ways around US imposed economic sanctions against Russia, particularly with regards to India’s pending purchase of the Russian S-400 air defence system. Back in August, India managed to obtain an exemptions from the US Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which had prevented money from being transferred for Russia defense products, but the countries are still utilizing alternative means for clearing transactions, including Rupee-Rouble trade for certain purchases. However, US punitive measures are still making large transactions difficult.

Prospects are so buoyant that back in September trade officials in New Delhi suggested the possibility of setting up a special ‘green corridor’ economic zone for Russian companies, creating a list of entrepreneurs, companies and goods which would be exempt from regular customs inspections.

In addition to India, Moscow is also seeing growth in its trade with other Asian markets, including China, Japan and Pakistan. Russia’s increasing economic expansion eastward is being propelled by Moscow’s need for economic and financial diversification, which is a direct result of aggressive US and EU economic sanctions levied against Moscow since 2014.

READ MORE INDIA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire India Files

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