Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Commerce & Industry
25-February-2014 16:54 IST
Dry Run on International North-South Transport Corridor Next Month
Azerbaijan Supports ONGC Videsh Limited’s Ventures in the Region
Natchiappan Takes up Issue of Access of Indian Pharma Products

India will conduct a dry run study in March 2014 on International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), through Nhava Sheva (Mumbai)- Bandar Abbas (Iran)- Tehran-Bandar Anzali (Iran)-Astrakhan(Russia). The announcement figured in the protocol signed after the 3rd meeting of the Inter Governmental Commission on Trade and Economic, Science and Technology Cooperation between India and Azerbaijan by Dr. E.M.S. Natchiappan, Minister of State (Commerce & Industry) and Mr. Huseyngulu Baghirov, Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources from Azerbaijan, here today. “The two countries have the requisite momentum to take the relationship to next level. Completion of the corridor will lead to mutually beneficial connectivity between the two regions,” said Dr Natchiappan.

During the meeting, both side reviewed the status of the construction of Gazvin-Rasht-Astara (Iran)-Astara (Azerbaijan) railway route for connecting the railway lines of International North-South Transport Corridor. The Azerbaijani side informed about the meeting between Iran and Azerbaijan in November 2013 at which it was decided to conduct technical and financial feasibility study and discuss it in the next meeting of the INSTC Coordination Council.

On Hydrocarbon front the Indian side noted the Azerbaijani Government’s support for ONGC Videsh Limited’s acquisition of Participating Interest (PI) owned by Hess Corporation’s wholly owned subsidiaries in the upstream and midstream oil and gas assets in the Azerbaijani Chirag Guneshli (ACG) Contract area and in Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline. Both the sides expressed satisfaction at the present level of bilateral engagement in the hydrocarbon sector. India and Azerbaijan also proposed to constitute a Joint Working Group in the field of hydrocarbon. The Indian Side reiterated the need to expedite the formation of the Joint Working Group in the field of hydrocarbon sector.

National Hydroelectric Power Corporation Limited also expressed interest in the development of hydro power plant in Azerbaijan. Both the sides agreed to explore opportunities for participation in renewable energy sector, energy efficiency and various upcoming projects in oil and gas, petro-chemicals, pipelines, etc. in Azerbaijan or India or third countries in collaboration or joint venture. The Indian Side showed keen interest in farming-in into producing assets in Azerbaijan.

India also called for investment in the field of hotel industry tourism and infrastructural development as India allows 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in hospitality sector on automated basis.

India was assured on easing the access for Indian Pharma products. Azerbaijani Side assured to look into the matter regarding the issues relating to registration and re-registration of Indian Pharma products by the Ministry of Health, Azerbaijan.

Both sides reiterated there is potential to cooperate with each other in various sectors of trade like investment, transport, energy, fertilizers, financial services, aviation, tourism, culture, pharmaceuticals, health, agriculture & animal products, information and communication technology, chemicals, science, education, visa & consular matters etc. “Apart from the traditional areas of cooperation between the two countries, there is a need to diversify the trade basket to include more commodities and services”, said Dr Natchiappan.

The total trade between India and Azerbaijan rose from USD 565.98 million in 2011-12 to USD 608.55 million in 2012-13.