Vladivostok, India is hoping to launch direct flights between the Russian Far East and New Delhi as part of efforts to boost bilateral business cooperation, Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on Monday.
“That is one of the areas that I would like to discuss today with the Russian leadership because I believe that will be a first step to have greater engagement between Russia and India, particularly the Far East region. I am sure we can mutually work out a matter by which we can have more direct flights between the Far East, at least, to begin with, Vladivostok and Delhi … This will give a big boost to business on both sides,” Goyal told Russian news agency Sputnik.
The minister, who is currently leading an Indian delegation visiting the Russian Pacific city of Vladivostok noted, however, that he did not have any specific time line for launching direct flights between the Russian Far East and India. “It is a thought that has only come last night, so it is too early to put a time frame to it. But we will start the discussions today, and we will try to speed up the process so that we could do it quickly,” he said.
Mr Goyal noted that the port infrastructure in the Far East needed to be upgraded so that it can take more large vessels. He added that facilitation of visa procedures in both countries was also on the agenda of his talks with Yury Trutnev, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia.
“I think that it is an important first step to expand people-to-people and business-to-business exchange, and, therefore, potential trade between the two countries,” he added.
The delegation comprises Chief Ministers of UP, Haryana, Gujarat and Goa and more than 100 business leaders in his three-day visit to the region.