New Delhi, Oct 29 (Indian Expose) To expand economic ties and move beyond buyer-seller relationship between India and Russia, New Delhi has set up a ‘one stop shop’ for Russian companies to invest in India called ‘Russia Plus’ which will fast track investment.
A Russian delegation on Monday called on Union Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu here.
During the meeting, Mr Prabhu said all efforts should be made to narrow down the trade deficit. One of the major reasons for having low trade is due to trade barriers like banking, sanitary and phytosanitary issues, language barrier and visa issues.
He said the International North South Corridor (INSTC) is an important initiative taken by India, Russia and Iran to promote transportation cooperation and to enhance connectivity with central Asian countries.
The INSTC is the shortest multimodal transportation route linking the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf via Iran to Russia and North Europe. The estimated capacity of the corridor is 20 to 30 million tonnes of goods per year and will reduce time and cost by 30 to 40 per cent.
He added that in the November 23 trilateral meeting on INSTC, all issues may be resolved in order to operationalise the route as early as possible.
Mr Prabhu said there was possibility for Russian investments in the Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor, smart cities, railways, public transport, sanitation and low cost housing.
The Minister said Russia can be a valuable market in information technology and services sector considering IT and services are India’s largest exports. Indian companies may also explore links with Russian companies in software for the manufacturing sector.
Mr Prabhu said, “India’s pharma exports to Russia constitute a sizable chunk but possibilities of joint investments are being considered by leading Indian pharma companies under Russia’s Pharma 2020 programme.”
Although Russia is a primary source of defence equipment supply to India, ample opportunities have further opened up for both countries with the opening of FDI in defence production in India, he added.
He said Russian companies may consider investing in a dedicated industrial park for defence manufacturing under the new norms to supply parts to helicopters, nuclear reactors and solar panels.
The Minister added that India intends to create a vibrant startup eco-system and Russia can actively partner by providing technology, assistance in setting up incubation centers and actively investing in startups.
During the meeting, the possibility of potential cooperation in areas of oil and gas sector, aerospace, ports and shipping and railways and also in the sectors of fertilisers, gems and jewelry and tourism were also discussed.
The Minister also explained the delegation about the procedure and policy for establishing green field and brown field airports in tier-II and III cities in India.
He said Russian investments may also be explored in the pilot training center coming up in the country.
Mr Prabhu invited Russian aerospace companies to participate in the global aviation summit to be held in India in January next year.
In 2017, total trade between the two companies was 10.13 billion dollars. Imports to Russia stood at 8.04 billion dollars while export from India was 2.08 billion dollars.