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India starts preparations for free trade zone with Customs Union

November 05, 2014, 16:37 UTC+3 NEW DELHI

The country supported a proposal to establish a workshop to prepare to sign a free trade agreement with the Customs Union, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin says

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© AP Photo/Saurabh Das

NEW DELHI, November 5. /TASS/. India has supported a proposal to establish a workshop to prepare to sign a free trade agreement with the Customs Union comprising Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told reporters Wednesday.

“Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj (who is also chairwoman of intergovernmental commission) has informed us that the creation of the workshop was approved by Indian authorities. This means that we will proceed with activities of this group starting from today,” Rogozin said.

India announced its interest in free trade with the Customs Union last year.

Russia-India joint Sukhoi Superjet-100 production

Russia and India discussed the prospects of launching the joint production of Sukhoi Superjet-100 medium-haul airliners on Indian soil, Dmitry Rogozin said after a meeting of the Russian-Indian inter-governmental commission for trade, economic, scientific and technical and cultural cooperation.

“The talk is about producing Sukhoi Superjet-100 airliners on Indian soil. The planes can be produced both for the needs of the Indian market and for sale to third countries,” Rogozin said.

India also “showed interest in the MS-21 medium-haul passenger airliner,” which fully meets “the requirements of the Indian market both by the number of passenger seats (180 passengers) and the flight distance (up to 5,000 km), the Russian vice-premier said.

The first MS-21 plane is set “for its first flight in 2016 and the start of its serial production is scheduled for 2017,” Rogozin said.

Russia also considers as promising its cooperation with India in helicopter-making, the Russian vice-premier said.

“Our proposal in this sphere boils down to using Ka-226 helicopters both for civilian and military needs,” the vice-premier said.

Joint production of GLONASS modules

Russia has offered India to launch joint production of GLONASS modules, Russian Vice-Premier Dmitry Rogozin told journalists on Wednesday.

“Space cooperation was a separate item on the agenda. We agreed to hold separate consultations on this subject. I mean manned cosmonautics and projects linked to the joint production of the Russian GLONASS navigation system, including joint productions of modules for receiving GLONASS signals,” Rogozin said.

The vice-premier said that Russia considered joint production of modules to be possible, especially if India agreed to introduce the ERA GLONASS system of satellite monitoring of transport for automatic transmission of signals to emergency response centers in emergency situations.

Rogozin also focused on another promising area of Russian-Indian cooperation such as joint production of electronic components and bilateral projects in the sphere of space instrument engineering.

“I believe that we are going to reach understanding on adjustment of our space programmes when Russian President Vladimir Putin visits India (in December) or shortly after it,” Rogozin stressed.

The Russian vice-premier is scheduled to meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to India.

Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj is the Indian co-chairman of the Russian-Indian inter-governmental commission for trade, economic, scientific-technological and cultural cooperation.

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