<p>In a bid to enhance trade and socio- economic exchange between Astrakhan region of southern European Russia and Gujarat, the vice-governor and head of the Russian city and chief secretary of Gujarat government exchanged the letters of extension of 'protocol of cooperation' on Tuesday at Gandhinagar.
A nine-member delegation from Astrakhan, led by Konstantin Markelov, vice-governor and head of Astrakhan is on a four-day visit to Gujarat from November 7 to 10.
Markelov and A K Joti, chief secretary of Gujarat government, exchanged the protocol to enhance co-operation with Gujarat. The event comes as a fallout of signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) by Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi with Governor of Astrakhan in Moscow in 2001. The exchange of protocol of cooperation is believed to bring the two regions closer with respect to enhanced trade, joint ventures, social, cultural and economic exchanges.
Markelov informed that 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, a statement issued by the state government said.
Many of the Gujarat-based companies have signed of a series of MoUs in diverse fields like oil and gas, shipbuilding, food industries, pharmaceuticals, fisheries, HRD, culture and education. Notable among them is the MoU between Russia’s Gazprom and state-promoted Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC).
Joti invited Astrakhan functionaries to participate in the biannual event, Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors' Summit (VGGIS) to be held 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.