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Gandhinagar, Tuesday: The Vice-Governor and Head of Astrakhan region Konstantin Markelov exchanged the letters of extension of ‘Protocol of Co-operation’ with Chief Secretary of Gujarat Government A.K. Joti here today with a view to bringing the two regions with enhanced trade, joint ventures, social, cultural and economic exchanges.

Presenting the details of the previous Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors’ Summit (VGGIS) held in 2011, Mr. Joti invited Astrakhan functionaries participate in the next VGGIS to be held here in January 2013. Gujarat has 1,600-km long seacoast, shipbuilding yards and dry docks, besides skilled know-how in IT, nanotechnology, innovations, agro processing and fisheries.

Mr. Markelov said he would form a high-powered working group to strengthen the relation between the two regions, and also between the two nations. He gave details of the strides made by Astrakhan in the fields of oil and gas, shipbuilding, agriculture and education.

The latest exercise is an extension of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi with Governor of Astrakhan in Moscow in 2001. It was followed up by a delegation of Astrakhan region visiting Gujarat in March 2003 and in turn a high-level delegation of Gujarat led by Mr. Modi going to Astrakhan in July 2006.

These resulted in visits of trade and industries organizations visiting the other country and signing of a series of MoUs in diverse fields like oil and gas, shipbuilding, food industries, pharmaceuticals, fisheries, HRD, culture and education, notably between Russia’s Gazprom and Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC).

These MOUs was preceded by an Inter-Governmental Agreement on the Principles of Cooperation between the Government of the States and Union Territories of India and Constituent Entities of the Russian Federation, signed during the visit of Russian President Putin to India in October 2000.

The nine-member delegation from Astrakhan, led by Mr. Markelov, on a four-day visit to Gujarat from November 7 to 10, also met Gujarat’s Minister or State for Industries Mr. Saurabh Patel and discussed areas of mutual co-operation.

Sources: Gujarat Information Bureau

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