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India PM to visit Moscow and Beijing
October 7, 2013, 5:56 am

Developments on the BRICS Bank work, largely credited as the Indian Prime Minister's initiative, and greater BRICS cooperation will be discussed during Singh's visit to the two countries [AP]

Developments on the BRICS Bank work, largely credited as the Indian Prime Minister’s initiative, and greater BRICS cooperation will be discussed during Singh’s visit to the two countries [AP]

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will embark on a crucial trip to Russia and China from October 20 to further boost growing ties between the three BRICS partners.

Key pacts are expected to be inked in areas of trade, business and energy during Singh’s visit.

Singh will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing in the backdrop of the much talked about American Asia pivot for which US Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden have tried to rally support from New Delhi.

Developments on the BRICS Bank work, largely credited as the Indian prime minister’s initiative, and greater BRICS cooperation will be discussed during Singh’s visit to the two countries.

Singh will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss nuclear cooperation, trade and defence during his October 20 to 22 Moscow visit.

Singh is expected to assure Putin on concerns over India’s nuclear liability law and also on the safety of Russian investments including in telecom sector.

Significantly, after the recently-concluded India Russia Inter Governmental Commission meeting in Moscow, the indications are that the two countries have made progress to clear the nuclear liability issue, crucial for a contract for supply of Russian reactors for Units 3 and 4 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP).

Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid in Moscow last week described Indo-Russian ties as “unique and special”.

The two sides are set to conclude the tehno-commercial negotiations for the Unit 3 and 4 of KNPP) ahead of Singh’s visit and officials are hoping to ink it after the talks between the two sides.

The effort is to basically match India’s Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (CNLD) Act, 2010 and the internationally and nationally accepted principles.

India will also push for Russian investments in the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor and joint ventures in the pharma and fertiliser sector.

Singh is also expected to assure the Russian leadership on Russia’s investment in telecom sector.

Russian giant Sistema last week expressing unhappiness over the Indian telecom regulator TRAI’s recommendations on spectrum auction, saying it created “ambiguity” and “policy uncertainty” that would adversely impact its investment plans.

Regional security, especially in the backdrop of the volatility in Afghanistan post NATO-pullout will also be discussed by the two sides.

During his China visit, Singh will hold talks with his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang and Chinese President Xi Jinping on a range of issues including Chinese investments through industrial parks in India.

There is a proposal for setting up Chinese business parks in five Indian states which would function as Special Economic Zones.

The two sides are also expected to ink the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement which is aimed to enhance coordination between the armies of the two countries.

India is also hoping to ink with China a framework MoU for supply of power equipment, apart from a cultural pact, they said.

New Delhi is pushing Beijing to import more products and greater market access as the trade imbalance is heavily tilted in favor of China.

In 2012-13, India recorded a record trade deficit of $40.78 billion with China.

China and India are also working to speed up the construction of the economic corridor linking China, Bangladesh, India and Myanmar(BCIM), asserted Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in New York last week.

With inputs from Agencies 

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