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Russia, India, China trilateral meet starts in Bangalore

The ninth trilateral meeting between Russia, India and China (RIC) begins here Tuesday to explore business opportunities in key sectors, including infrastructure and energy.

Bangalore, is holding such a major international meeting 23 years after it played host to the second South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (Saarc) summit in November 1986 under then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. One of the reasons for the shift is because external affairs minister SM Krishna hails from Bangalore.

“The foreign ministers of RIC countries will discuss trade and business opportunities in infrastructure, energy, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and nanotechnology for mutual benefit,” external affairs ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash told reporters Monday evening.

Krishna, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and Chinese foreign minister Yang Jiechi will exchange views on regional and international issues as well.

“Some of the global issues on the agenda are climate change, world trade and the global financial crisis from which the world is gradually emerging,” Prakash noted.

The three foreign ministers will sign a joint declaration after the two-hour long meeting, which will also focus on collaborating to consolidate the structure for a greater role in world affairs.

The three countries account for 20% of the global landmass and 39% of the global population.

The interaction is being held against the backdrop of bilateral meetings Krishna and Lavrov had during the 15th session of the Indo-Russian inter-governmental commission in Moscow Oct 21 and between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at Han Hin in Thailand Oct 24 on the margins of the Indo-ASEAN summit.

“The RIC process also encourages academic exchanges. India enjoys most important and time-tested relations with Russia based upon mutual trust, continuity and understanding,” Prakash said.

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