India has suggested early completion of the international north-south transport corridor (INSTC) in order to improve connectivity problems in its trade with Azerbaijan and called for joint efforts to identify issues and impediments to the smooth functioning of the corridor.
Addressing the second session of the India-Azerbaijan inter-governmental commission on trade (IGC), economic, scientific and technological cooperation, in Baku, minister of state for commerce and industry, Jyotiraditya M Scindia said the development of the transport corridor would lead to huge savings in time and transportation costs.
The INSTC member countries include India, Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyztan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine, Belarus, Oman and Syria. Bulgaria currently had observer status.
Scindia also suggested early finalisation of a bilateral investment promotion and protection agreement (BIPPA) and the double taxation avoidance agreement (DTAA) between the two countries to encourage investment flows and improve investor's confidence.
A protocol signed at the end of the meeting identified key areas of cooperation such as pharmaceuticals, energy, transport, agriculture and IT sectors.
The two sides also decided to take steps to overcome the existing barriers and recommended specific measures like finalisation and implementation of agreements to give a legal basis and provide comfort to the economic and financial relationship.