29 August 2017
Round table “India at the Russian Far East”
Ahead of the Independence Day of the Republic of India and the Eastern Economic Forum the round table “India at the Russian Far East” was held at FEFU School of Humanities on 10th August 2017. The event was organized by the FEFU Expert and Analytical Center (EAC).
The round table was attended by the Consular General of India in Vladivostok Vivek Singh and the director general of “Primorye’s diamonds” Sunil Gandhi.
The discussion included two parts: during the first one the agenda focused on general and strategic aspects of Russia-India cooperation. Hence, a.i. Ministry of Foreign Affairs Representative in Vladivostok Vladimir Konovalov delivered a presentation on the strategic cooperation between India and Russia; the discussion proceeded with the presentation by EAC specialist Vitaly Savenkov who covered the collaboration between Russia and India in terms of the international organizations. The first part of the discussion was concluded by the presentation “Russia and India: common security agenda” by RISS senior researcher, Associate Professor of FEFU International Relations Department Andrey Gubin.
More specific regional issues constituted the second part of the discussion. FEFU Director for expertise and analytics, Director of FEFU School of Humanities Felix Azhimov proposed to proceed with topic ”Problems and prospects of the Indian-Russian economic projects at the Russian Far East”. The major aim of the next presentation, performed by Deputy director of FEFU School of Humanities, Associate Professor of FEFU Sociology Department Kirill Kolesnichenko, was to underscore correlation between the military-industrial complex and regional development in terms of his presentation “Development prospects of Indian and the Russian Far Eastern and Transbaikal military-Industrial Enterprises’ cooperation”. The Indian engagement into the regional development was highlighted during the presentation “Logistic issues of the cooperation between Indian and RFE” performed by Deputy director of Expert and Analytical Center Dmitry Shelest, who also proposed to discuss communication challenges between Indian and Russian business communities. The final presentation by the Consular General of India in Vladivostok Vivek Singh focused on cultural and economic engagement of India at the Russian Far East.
Thus, the round table covered various aspects of bilateral cooperation from both academic and practical perspectives. In particular, the discussants touched upon the prospects of collaboration within the mechanisms of the Free Port of Vladivostok and the Territories of advanced development, and emphasized both positive and negative factors of these projects. All of the presentations launched a vital debate between the Indian guests and participants from FEFU, that hereby led to the 2,5 hour discussion instead of the scheduled 1,5 hours event.
During the round table the participants stressed the potential of possible amendment of the Russian legislation in the sphere of regional cooperation. In order to improve the bilateral relations on the Russian Far East, the discussants proposed to establish the permanent Russian-Indian forums aimed to address the most pressing issues of cooperation. What is more, the round table included discussion on creation of the advisory boards to give Indian and Russian entrepreneurs an opportunity to engage jointly on topical issues along with the representatives of the local authorities. Besides this, the participants covered the possibility to set up the educational programs for economic actors, who work with Indian partners; they also discussed the deepening of the cultural links via the format of the twinned cities of India and the Russian Far East, and different ways to attract highly qualified specialist from India for the military-industrial enterprises at the Russian Far East. The round table resulted in the analytical reports provided for the MFA Representation in Vladivostok and the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East.
As a result, the Indian and Russian participants agreed to proceed with organization of the conference on practical issues of the Indian-Russian cooperation at the Russian Far East, and support the initiative by EAC to carry out a research project on the Indian engagement to the Asia-Pacific and the Russian Far East in particular.