Published time: February 26, 2015 11:30
Edited time: February 26, 2015 12:09

Reuters/Ahmad Masood

India is to start negotiating a free trade agreement with the Customs
Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan within the next six months,
Indian Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industry Rajeev Kher has said.

A Russian-Indian working group which was established in November 2014
will consider the negotiating of a comprehensive free trade agreement
between India and the Customs Union.

Kher said the working group would put forward proposals within the
next six months and the negotiating process would start after that,
TASS reports.

As most of the developed world in the West is suffering an economic
downturn, the developing world has been stepping up efforts to bring
their economies closer.

Russia ratifies $100bn BRICS New Development Bank

Most recently, China said it could establish a free trade zone with
a broader Russia-led economic bloc that also includes Armenia and is
expected to include Kyrgyzstan soon.

READ MORE: China and Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union may set up
free trade zone

The Eurasian customs union is a regional bloc that includes Russia,
Belarus and Kazakhstan aimed at creating a single economic space with
common tariffs. The group has a population of 168 million people and
a GDP of more than $2 trillion.

The BRICS countries which include Brazil, Russia, India, China and
South Africa will also have established by the end of the year the $100
billion New Development Bank, as a rival to the IMF and the World Bank.

From: A. Papazian