A free trade agreement between India and Eurasian customs union – Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan – would help boost trade and economic ties between the two regions, a study says
A free trade agreement between India and Eurasian customs union – Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan – would help boost trade and economic ties between the two regions, a study says.
India and the three-member Eurasian customs union have recently set up a joint study group to explore the feasibility of a free trade agreement.
A free trade agreement “will benefit the people of both regions in short and long-term. It will strengthen and enhance economic, trade and investment cooperation and promote trade in goods and services,” the study by think tank Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) said.
While India has the opportunity to gain from trade in strategic products, such as uranium, gas, oil, and fertiliser inputs, Russia can gain a new partner in trade, it said.
Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia are enormously endowed with natural resources such as hydrocarbon, potassium, and uranium, which India imports substantially.
regional and multilateral institutions as well as in areas such as trade and economic cooperation, defence, education, space science, technology transfer, and other areas of strategic interest for India, it added.
Due to sanctions from the US, Russia is keen to find alternatives in trade and investment and India can strongly provide that alternative, it added.
The agreement would help facilitate investments by Indian entrepreneurs in these three countries, it added.
“India is losing its market share in this customs union. The share of India’s exports to these countries as compared to India’s total exports in 2001 was 2.04 per cent which has declined to 0.82 per cent in 2013,” it added