New Delhi: Union Minister of Commerce and Industry and Railways Piyush Goyal will lead a delegation of Chief Ministers of States and business representatives to Vladivostok in Russian Far East from August 11-13, said an official statement on Friday.
According to the statement issued by the Press Information Bureau (PIB), the visit is to explore investment opportunities and strike close partnerships with the Far East provinces.
According to the press note, the delegation includes Chief Ministers of Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh and an official from Assam.
The Chief Ministers will be accompanied by business delegations who will engage with officials and businessmen from the provinces in Russia's easternmost territory.
The note further said, "The Commerce and Industry Minister's visit is a precursor to the visit of the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi to Vladivostok in early September for the 5th edition of the Eastern Economic Forum where he will be the chief guest for the 20th edition of the Forum ... It is an international forum held every year in Vladivostok, Russia, to support the economic development of Russia's Far East region and to expand international cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region."
"This visit by Piyush Goyal will set the stage for further strengthening of bilateral ties between the two countries and also see major announcements on collaborative projects for the economic success of the Far East region of Russia," the note added.
India is looking to gain from the investment-friendly Russian stance in the natural resource-rich region, which includes significant incentives and tax breaks allowing Indian investments and labour for projects.
Indian entities are already engaged in key sectors like power, coal, oil, and gas, and this visit by Goyal, along with the delegation, will increase India's footprint in the region further.
"The delegation includes more than 125 representatives from business stakeholders, who will interact with Russian counterparts on opportunities in the mining and processing of diamond and other rare metals, railways, agriculture, fisheries and food processing, oil and gas, forestry and timber, coal and power, ceramics, tourism, shipbuilding, technical education, healthcare, and pharma sectors and Ayurveda," it said.
The statement said that Commerce and Industry Minister will also explore new areas of cooperation and ensure that India's participation at the Eastern Economic Forum is meaningful.
The delegation will identify and scope out and work on potential areas of business collaboration in this region of Russia.
"Russia's Far East offers an important area for the use of India's skilled manpower to develop the region that is vast and underpopulated," it added.
According to the press note, Russia ranks first in the world for oil and natural gas production, exports of steel, primary aluminum and nitrogen fertilizers.
Russia is also the largest in terms of reserves of tin, zinc, titanium, niobium, nickel, iron ore, drinking water, natural gas, wood, diamonds, and silver.
Russia has the longest railways in the world. The Trans-Siberian Railway is the longest railway in the world of 87,157 kilometres, the note said.
"It is hoped that this visit of Piyush Goyal will mark the beginning of the process where both countries move away from a buyer-seller relationship to one where there is technology transfer, Make in India, job creation and content creation in India," added the statement.