India and Russia are set to strengthen their trade ties through a significant shipbuilding project. India has agreed to build 24 river-sea class cargo ships for Russia by 2027, providing a much-needed boost to Russia’s struggling shipbuilding industry. With economic sanctions impacting Russia’s shipbuilding sector due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, the country has partnered with other shipbuilding nations to maintain its ship orders.

The Need for Partnerships in Russia’s Shipbuilding Industry

Russia’s shipbuilding industry has been severely affected by economic sanctions imposed by the West. As a result, the country has been actively seeking new outlets to support its struggling sector. The partnership with India and its state-owned Goa shipyard is a step towards meeting Russia’s shipbuilding needs and expanding its trade routes.

Exploring India's Strategic Move_ Building 24 Cargo Ships for Russian Trade Expansion

Expanding Shipping on the Caspian Sea

The agreement between India and Russia aims to expand shipping on the Caspian Sea, connecting Russia and India through the proposed International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC). This route will provide a crucial trade link between the two countries, offering new opportunities for economic growth and development. The Caspian Sea, located between Asia and Europe, is the world’s largest inland body of water, making it an ideal trade route option.

Goa Shipyard: The Hub of Shipbuilding

The construction of the cargo ships will take place at the state-owned Goa shipyard in India. The first four ships are schedule to be launche in 2024, with a range of vessels being built, including chemical carriers, bulk carriers, and container ships tailored to the service. This partnership with India offers several advantages for Russia, including a significant cost reduction compared to Russian manufacturers.

Financing the Project

The project will be finance by the Russian Agency for Export Credit and Investment Insurance (EXIAR) through the Russian Export Center (REC). This collaboration between India and Russia highlights the commitment to strengthening economic ties and supporting each other’s shipbuilding industries.

The Benefits of Collaboration

The partnership with India brings several benefits to Russia’s shipbuilding industry. The ship construction cost is expect to be significantly lower than Russian manufacturers, providing a cost-effective solution for Russia’s shipbuilding needs. Additionally, the business rates offered by India are much more favorable, with speeds of 2-3% compared to the current 18.6% provided by the State Transport Leasing Company (STLC).

India Takes on Ambitious Project to Construct 24 Cargo Ships for Russia

Strengthening Indo-Russian Relations

The collaboration between India and Russia in shipbuilding further strengthens the already robust Indo-Russian relations. The Indian government intends to expand its shipbuilding industry and become a global player. This aligns perfectly with Russia’s needs, creating a mutually beneficial partnership that enhances trade and promotes economic growth.

Exploring New Trade Routes and Opportunities

More ships could use the Caspian Sea, which gave India and Russia new trade paths and chances. With Russia’s limited access to European ports due to sanctions, redirecting trade flows eastwards becomes essential. The Caspian Sea provides a strategic route that connects Asia and Europe, offering a gateway for trade and commerce between the two regions.

Aiming for Global Competitiveness

India’s shipbuilding industry has been steadily growing, and this partnership with Russia further solidifies its position as a global player in shipbuilding. By building cargo ships tailored to Russia’s needs, India can showcase its expertise and technological capabilities in the shipbuilding sector. This partnership shows that India wants to become a significant player in the world shipbuilding business.

India's Shipbuilding Feat for Russia's Maritime Advancement

Future Prospects for the Partnership

The agreement between India and Russia to build 24 cargo ships is just the beginning of a long-term partnership. Both countries are willing to explore further collaboration and utilize each other’s competencies and resources. This could lead to more significant projects and joint ventures in the future, benefiting both nations and fostering stronger economic ties.


1. What is the latest collaboration between India and Russia in the shipbuilding industry?

India and Russia have announced their intention to collaborate on shipbuilding, with India set to build 24 cargo ships for Russia by 2027. 

2. Who will be responsible for fulfilling the ship orders?

India’s state-owned Goa shipyard will partner with Russia to fulfill the ship orders. 

3. How will the shipbuilding project be finance?

The Russian Agency for Export Credit and Investment Insurance will pay for the project to build the ships. 

4. Why is Russia seeking partnerships with China in shipbuilding?

Russia’s largest shipbuilder, United Shipbuilding Corporation, is seeking partnerships with China to expand its shipbuilding efforts, including in the Arctic. 

Inside India's Shipbuilding Venture_ 24 Cargo Ships Set to Boost Russia's Economy

5. What is the significance of this collaboration for Russia’s shipbuilding industry?

Russia’s shipbuilding industry is currently struggling due to economic sanctions, and the collaboration with India will help alleviate some of the challenges it faces. 

6. Has the Russian supply ship Lady R been involve in any controversial activities?

The Russian supply ship Lady R has been involve in a controversial visit to South Africa and has also made two visits to North Korea. It has been previously link to the Russian arms trade and has faced U.S. sanctions related to the war in Ukraine. 

7. Was there any evidence of Lady R loading military equipment for export to Russia?

An investigation in South Africa found no evidence that Lady R was loading military equipment for export to Russia. 

The partnership between India and Russia to build 24 cargo ships marks a significant milestone in strengthening trade and collaboration between the two countries. By leveraging India’s shipbuilding industry and Russia’s need for ship orders, this partnership creates a win-win situation for both nations. Building the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and letting more ships use the Caspian Sea will lead to more trade possibilities and faster economic growth. As the project progresses, the Indo-Russian collaboration in shipbuilding will fuel further advancements in the global industry.

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