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Russia and India discuss Arctic energy projects and plan to sign dozens of B2B deals

August 13/ 11:42

Moscow. India and Russia are in talks over possible gas projects in the Arctic, India’s Minister of Trade and Industry Piyush Goyal said in Vladivostok where delegations from both states are meeting ahead of the Eastern Economic Forum.

“We have a very strong energy partnership with Russia […] Our ministers responsible for energy are already in talks with energy companies here […] discussing what we can do, especially in the Arctic region, in gas exploration and gas supply for India,” Goyal said.

The minister heads a delegation of five Indian states hoping to get acquainted with the possibilities that investment and partnership with Russia’s Far East could offer.

Goyal noted that India is looking to “base our economy entirely on gas” and sees Russia as a “trusted partner in the energy sector” which will “play a big role in transforming the energy sector [in India] in the direction of creating a gas-based economy.”

Apart from government officials, the current meeting, which will last two days, is attended by more than 200 companies of the B2B (business to business) sector from both countries, representing areas such as mining and diamond cutting industries, petrochemicals, tourism, timber processing, energy, medicine, and agriculture. According to preliminary estimations, the two sides are looking at some 86 deals to be struck by Wednesday.

 “86 possible agreements were taken into consideration at the preface to the meeting, informs RT.  We will most likely conclude the first six of them within a month,” Daniil Polovinka, deputy director general of the Agency for Far Eastern Investment Promotion and Export Support (IPA).

He likened the meeting’s B2B format to “speed dating,” saying it allows business representatives of the two countries to discuss the deals face-to-face, as well as giving them an opportunity to quickly exchange offers and contacts.

Growth of Russia-India trade at the end of 2018 amounted to 15%, reaching nearly $11 billion (€9.8 billion), according to figures recently released by the Russian government.

The fifth Eastern Economic Forum will kick off on Russky Island in the Vladivostok region on September 4, 2019. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, invited earlier by Russian President Vladimir Putin, is expected to be this year’s main guest.

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