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India, Russia explore tech as a payment mechanism in national currencies

India, Russia explore tech as a payment mechanism in national currencies

NEW DELHI: India Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue (IRSED) whose second edition was held in Delhi on July 10 serves as a
strategic adviser to both governments for the structured dialogue on a host of issues including use of technology in payment mechanism in national currencies.

“IRSED provides an open platform for dialogue on a host of areas where India and Russia can collaborate. IRSED is beyond structured to supplement official dialogue and therefore provides open format for talks, promotes generation of new ideas and refreshes our agenda,” Alexander Sinitsyn President of Center for Strategic Research, which is a partner for IRSED, told ET.

IRSED comprises three elements — academia; present and past government officials and business, informed Sinitsyn who was in Delhi for IRSED.

“Among key issues IRSED discussed cooperation in the digital world. Russia has its strength. India has its strength. One such area is use of technology in payment mechanism in national currencies,” explained Sinitsyn.

The issue of infrastructure and logistics was discussed. People to People connectivity and promotion of tourism was a key item for the IRSED.

Russia also hopes to have e-visa system like India for tourism promotion, as well as offers to lift visa requirements for organized groups of tourists,” Sinitsyn said, adding, “ With regard to agriculture cooperation use of new technology was discussed. Increasing trade volume to 30 bn USD and mutual investment to 15 bn USD by 2025 is a priority for both sides.”

The Dialogue on Tuesday included parallel roundtables which discussed areas of cooperation and concrete roadmaps for future negotiations across outlined core areas. Participants included government officials, business leaders and experts, bringing in diverse perspectives for ideation.

The roundtable on Digital transformation and Frontier Transformation focussed on areas of collaboration between India and Russia in the digital space and frontier technologies. Various platforms developed by Russia and how these can be leveraged by India, and vice versa, and potential for future collaborations were dicussed across various sectors such as payments platform, joint startup ecosystem, use of digital technology in various areas such as education, construction and skilling.

Development of Transport Infrastructure and Technologies roundtable discussed areas of cooperation across various modes of transport such as speed upgradation, safety and passenger comfort in railways, creation of twin ports between India and Russia, ship building and river navigation, research and development, and ensuring predictability of cost and movement schedules across transport corridors.

For increasing collaboration and cooperation between Small and Medium Businesses in India and Russia, the roundtable recommended setting up of nodal points of interaction between the two countries. Ensuring access to finance, seamless digital banking, access to E-markets and broad-based engagement across sectors were also discussed.

The roundtable on Agriculture and Agro-processing noted the dynamic nature of agriculture, livestock rearing and food processing in both countries and the immense opportunities of cooperation. Recommendations included closer communication between the respective agriculture ministries to streamline collaborative efforts. Reciprocity in terms of acceptance of certification, deployment of AI-backed frontline technologies and software were also under discussion.

The roundtable on Tourism and Connectivity highlighted the need to increase bilateral tourism and exploring natural avenues for economic and commercial partnerships. Expanding visitor itineraries for both countries, and creating more products for tourist interest such as yoga and medical tourism were also considered. Working towards improving regional connectivity and improving government and industry cooperation was also discussed.

The roundtable on Industrial Trade and Cooperation saw participation across industries in energy, finance and industries, which emphasised awareness exchange between the two countries in areas of investment opportunities. Exploring better Business-to-Business communication and collaboration, generating greater investment flows through public and private cooperation in an organised way were also discussed.