India, Tatarstan to set up JWG on chemicals, fertilisers trade

New Delhi, Nov 18 (IANS) A joint working group (JWG) of the chemicals and fertilizers ministry and representatives of the Russian Republic of Tatarstan will be formed within a week to work on ways to strengthen trade in fertilizers, chemicals and pharmaceuticals between India and Tatarstan, Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister Ananth Kumar said Tuesday.

A Russian delegation led by Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov met Ananth Kumar here, the ministry said in a statement here.

“India looks forward to long-term agreement for import of potash, phosphate and natural gas of which Russia has huge reserves,” the minister told the Tatarstan president.

Minnikhanov also met Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman here Tuesday.

Tatarstan, which shares with India the legacy of the Turkic-speaking people, groups of whom settled in the country in a migration starting around 1,000 years ago, is keen to attract Indian investments to build on the existing ones, especially in the petrochemicals sector, a leader from the Russian republic has said.

“Tatarstan can be viewed as a starting point for expansion both to the Custom’s Union member-states (Russia, Belorussia, Kazakhstan) and to some Turkic states, namely Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkey,” Alexander Sidyakin, member of parliament from Tatarstan and a member of the Indo-Russian Parliamentary Friendship Group, recently told IANS on the telephone from capital Kazan.

Tatarstan signed a partnership agreement (PA) with Arunachal Pradesh way back in 2003. In April 2010, Andhra Pradesh and Tatarstan signed an MoU for promoting joint ventures in pharmaceuticals, chemicals, gas-based industries, power plant equipment, bio-technology and IT.

Prominent Indian pharmaceutical companies, including Ranbaxy, Dr. Reddy’s, Lupin, INCA, Cadila Healthcare, Himalayan Drugs and Ajanta Pharma, are active in Tatarstan.

The Mukesh-Ambani led Reliance Industries (RIL) and Tatarstan oil giant Tatneft have agreed to develop a partnership in the petrochemical and oil refining sectors under an agreement reached during the 2012 visit of Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov to the RIL refinery in Jamnagar, Gujarat.

For the record, India is by far the largest buyer of the Russian Mi-17 military helicopters produced in a plant located in Kazan.

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