Diamonds, tourism, Northern Sea Route: what Far East has in store for Indian investors

Photo by © Yuri Smityuk/TASS. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

MOSCOW, Jul 26, 2019, TASS. Tourism, mining industry, diamond cutting, cooperation in military sector – these are the areas in which the regions of Russia’s Far East are going to present options for cooperation to Indian investors at the upcoming Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in September. Government officials and experts told TASS about the growing interest in bilateral cooperation, the current state and prospects of projects involving Indian investments, reported the TASS.

This year, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will become the key guest at the EEF. Recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin invited him to attend the event.

“Currently, preparations are underway for the signing the Program for the development of Russian-Indian cooperation in the trade, economy and investments in the Far East of the Russian Federation for 2020-2026.” The program will set the guidelines for the development of Russian-Indian cooperation in the Far East in priority sectors (coal mining, diamond cutting, energy, agriculture, logging and tourism.) We believe that in future cooperation with representatives of the Republic of India can be expanded and include projects in the Arctic region, in terms of increasing the volume of supplies and the joint development of the Northern Sea Route,” a representative with Ministry for Development of Russian Far East told TASS.

Earlier, co-chairman of the Russian-Indian intergovernmental commission on trade, economic, scientific, technical and cultural cooperation, Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov, told reporters that at the EEF Russia and India were going to sign a strategic agreement to give a new impetus to the relations between the two countries, which will allow to increase trade to $30 bln from current $11 bln by 2025.

Indian projects in the Far East

Cooperation between Russia’s Far Eastern regions and India is mainly related to mining. “We mainly supply fuel and energy products to India. This is coal – 70% of the total value of regional exports to India, as well as oil products,” Viktor Kalashnikov, Deputy Chairman of the Khabarovsk region’s government, told TASS.

He added that on the sidelines of the EEF the parties plan to discuss the possibility of exporting products of aircraft and shipbuilding, power engineering, woodworking. In addition, Khabarovsk enterprises are ready to supply products from ferrous and non-ferrous metals to India, as well as fish and seafood, and peat-based fertilizers.

The authorities of the Kamchatka region hope that investors from India will participate in their project for the extraction of coal on the peninsula. In 2017, an agreement of intent was signed for the implementation of a coal mining project with India’s Tata Power.

“The forecast volume of investments is 36 billion rubles ($57 mln),” an official with the regional government told TASS.

The project envisages the creation of a coal mining enterprise at the Krutogorovsky deposit. Its implementation will allow producing up to 8 million tonnes of coal per year in Kamchatka, will create more than 2,000 new jobs. The press service clarified that a draft agreement is being prepared on the further implementation of the project. It will be considered on the margins of the EEF.

The 5th Eastern Economic Forum will be held on the Russky Island in Vladivostok, Russia’s Far East, on September 4-6, 2019. This year, the main topic on the agenda will be economic and social indicators of growth in the Far East, as well as issues quality of life improvement in the macroregion. The program will also include intercountry business dialogues with India, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

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