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India: Tirupur hopes for FTA with Russia

Knitwear industrialists in Tirupur feel a free trade agreement (FTA) with Russia will help them. Russia imported knitwear garments worth Rs 241 crores and woven garments worth Rs 295 crores from India in 2017-18. Russia has a similar treaty with Bangladesh that allows for duty-free imports of readymade garments.

India and Russia plan to strengthen economic cooperation in the coming decades. The areas under focus include Indian pharmaceutical plants in Russia, long-term leasing of agricultural land in Russia’s Far East, export of automobile components from India and entry of new Indian textile players in Russia.

The list also includes heavy engineering under the Make in India initiative, investments by leading Indian IT firms in Russian tech parks, entering the infrastructure market in Russia, collaboration in mining and metallurgy sector, and joint collaboration in the Arctic sector.

Indian pharmaceutical companies are looking at the possibility of setting up plants in Russia. Agriculture and food processing sector is one of the emerging areas of cooperation. There is considerable demand for import of agricultural products, mainly fresh vegetables and fruits from India. One of the reasons for the inability of Indian exporters to cater to this demand is the logistics. One solution proposed could be direct long-term contracts between major supermarket chains in Russia and major exporters from India.