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India to accede to the Ashgabat Agreement on transit corridor

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for India to accede to the Ashgabat Agreement, an international transport and transit corridor.

The agreement facilitates transportation of goods between Central Asia and the Persian Gulf.  India would become party to the Agreement upon consent of the founding members.

Accession to the Agreement would enable India to

  • Utilise this existing transport and transit corridor to facilitate trade and commercial interaction and ties with the Eurasian region.
  • Synchronise India’s efforts to implement the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) for enhanced connectivity.
  • It will provide India an opportunity for reorientation of the freight traffic from the traditional sea route to land transcontinental routes.

About Ashgabat Agreement

  • It is a transit agreement established in year 2011.
  • It establishes international transport and transit corridor between Central Asia and the Persian Gulf countries.
  • Its founding members are Uzbekistan, Iran, Turkmenistan and Oman. Kazakhstan had joined the grouping in 2015.

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India, Russia sign customs pact to boost trade

India and Russia have signed a customs and liberalize business visas agreement to boost trade between both countries to remove the hindrances and boost commerce.

This pact will help to rapid clearances of imported goods at the land and sea ports and addresses the issues related to the non-tariff barriers. Both countries also have fixed a target of US 30 billion dollars to be achieved by 2025.

This agreement will play important role proposed International North-South freight corridor (INSTC) for trade from India to Russia to central Asia through Iran.

Presently, bilateral trade between both nations is extremely low and it was just 9.51 billion dollars. In Ufa, Russia prior to BRICS ministerial meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Russian counterpart President Vladimir Putin had discussed ways to increase bilateral trade.

Both countries also had reached an agreement on setting up a Joint Study Group which will recommend contours of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between India and Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) comprising Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia.

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