Commonwealth of Independent States
- Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) was established in 1991 to ensure continued cooperation in trade and military policy and recognition of borders between the States which formed part of the erstwhile USSR (except Baltic States). It has no formal political institution. Russian Federation, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan are the members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan fall in Asia and are commonly known as Central Asian Republics (CAR).
- Relations between India and countries of the CIS Region have remained close and cordial since the Soviet era. However, bilateral trade and commercial relations of India have not grown commensurately with these newly formed countries. CIS region constitutes 1.2% share in India’s total exports & 1.85% share in India’s total imports. The main reasons that affect our trade with this region are: distance, language barrier, inadequate transport facility, inadequacy of information about business opportunities, lack of direct and regular interaction among the business entities & inadequate banking facilities in the CIS Countries. Several initiatives are being taken jointly with the countries of the CIS region to facilitate promotion of bilateral trade over the last few years.
- Considering the potential that the CIS region offers and our insignificant presence in that market, Focus CIS Programme was launched by Commerce & Industry Minister w.e.f. 1/4/2003 at the time of announcement of the EXIM Policy on 31/3/2003. The Programme aimed to focus at countries of the CIS region with emphasis in the first phase on 7 countries namely Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Subsequently, with a view to further enhance India’s trade with countries of the CIS region, the scope of the Focus: CIS Programme was extended w.e.f. April 2004 to the rest of the CIS region, namely to the Russian Federation, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia & Moldova as well.
- Under this Programme, the Government of India extends assistance to exporters, EPCs, Business chambers etc. to visit these countries, organise trade fairs, invite trade delegations to visit India & undertake various other market promotional activities under the Market Development Assistance (MDA) Scheme. The initiatives taken under this Programme have received an encouraging response from the Indian trading community and are likely to further boost the bilateral trade in the forthcoming years.