Who: 7th session of India-Belarus Intergovernmental Commission
Where: Minsk, Belarus
When: 7 September 2015
Why: To deepen bilateral relations
The seventh session of India-Belarus Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation was held on 7 September 2015 in the Belarus capital Minsk.
It was co-chaired by Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman and her counterpart Vitali Mikhailovich Vovk.
Outcomes of the Intergovernmental Commission session
• Bilateral trade target was set as 1 billion US dollars to be achieved by 2018 from the present level of 400 million US dollars.
• The trade will be achieved by stepping up cooperation in pharmaceuticals, mining machinery, energy, fertilizer, and tourism sectors.
• A Joint Working Group (JWG) will be set up to discuss further cooperation in health-care and pharmaceuticals sectors. Pharmaceuticals constitute the bulk of India’s exports to Belarus amounting to about 35 million US dollars per annum.
• A Joint Working Group (JWG) will be set up to promote tourism between the two countries.
• Both the countries discussed the issues relating to long term contract for supply of potash fertilizers to India and possible equity participation of Indian fertilizer companies in Belarusian company producing Potash Fertilizer.
• Both the countries agreed to hold the next session of the commission in New Delhi in 2016.
The session of the commission and its outcomes show the deepening relations between India and Belarus in recent times.
During the visit of the president Pranab Mukherjee to Belarus in June 2015, India offered lines of credit worth 100 million US dollars and also accorded it the status of a free market economy.