India, Russia to set up study group on free trade pact

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India and Russia today agreed to set up a Joint Study Group to explore the possibility of negotiating a comprehensive free trade agreement between New Delhi and the customs union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia.

This was conveyed in a meeting between Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin here.

"India and Russia have agreed to a proposal for setting up a Joint Study Group for studying the scope of CECA (Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement) with member- countries of the Customs Union viz Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus," an official statement said.

Further, Russia conveyed the resolution of issues pertaining to market access of egg powder.

"They informed that Indian entities have started getting the nod for export of egg powder for the Custom Union Markets," it said.

Russian also assured to expeditiously resolve the issue of recognition of government approved Indian labs for enabling export of bovine meat from India.

Both sides also reviewed the progress of identified 'priority projects'.

"These projects include establishment of joint stock Indo- Russian enterprises for manufacturing light helicopters Ka-226T; JSC United Aircraft Corporation preparation of participation in tender for Indian programme to develop civil aircraft; plant construction for manufacturing butyl rubber with capacity of 1,00,000 tonnes per year at the production site in Jamnagar," it added.

The bilateral trade between India and Russia stood at USD 6.52 billion in 2012-13.

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