India and Russia have issued a joint statement indicating that both countries are to cooperate in areas such as fintech, tourism, and AI.

Further dialogues are due to take place between Russia’s minister of economic development Maxim Oreshkin and National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) vice chairman Rajiv Kumar.

The published statement after the first India-Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue held in St Petersburg last week stated: “Both sides agreed to explore joint working arrangements and pilot projects in healthcare, proposed setting up of a single-window clearance.”

India has been proactive in its support of new technologies in the financial sector, despite taking a punitive stance on cryptocurrency trading largely headed by the country’s central bank. Only recently, SWIFT India and MonetaGo teamed up to form a pilot shared DLT network in order to upgrade Indian bank services, facilitating fraud prevention and security.

NITI Aayog is a policy think tank of the government of India, established with the aim to achieve Sustainable Development Goals and to enhance cooperative federalism by fostering the involvement of state governments of India in the economic policy-making process using a bottom-up approach.

The country’s prime minister Narendra Modi has made his views abundantly clear that new technologies should be implemented to improve the lives of all Indians. Last month he stated:

“New emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, Internet of Things, blockchain, big data will help India move forward, provide employment to people and improve every Indian’s life. Industry is a process and technology is a tool. However, the ultimate goal is to change the life of the last person waiting in the queue.”

Modi also sees farming as a main beneficiary of new technology, recently commenting, “The responsibility of helping our farmers rests on the shoulders of the new generation… There is one important technology in agriculture-artificial intelligence. In the coming days, blockchain technology will also play a huge role.”

Both countries are increasingly looking towards utilizing blockchain’s potential within fintech and other sectors. Recently, Russian state-owned bank Sberbank revealed details of a partnership with major state-run power company Rosseti, which includes the promotion of emerging technologies such as blockchain.

Together, the pair plan to collaborate on a number of projects with the joint aims of advancing blockchain in Russia, and developing its own internal expertise. A press release detailing the partnerships reads that they will work on educational projects and research trials with one another.

 

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