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With $30 billion bilateral trade turnover in sight, India and Russia plan big for 2023

New Delhi, Dec 24, 2022- Riding on large oil shipments and fertiliser purchases, the volume of trade between India and Russia is set to cross $30 billion before 2022 ends next week.

While the 2021 mutual trade turnover between both countries reached 13 billion US dollars, there has been consistent growth of bilateral commerce despite the energy and food security crisis in the world due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

“Already now we can say that we will fulfil the task set by the leaders of our countries to bring the volume of trade to $30 billion ahead of the schedule. This goal was set to be achieved in 2025, but we will reach it by the end of this year,” Russian Ambassador to India Denis Alipov told the 13th Annual Russia-India Business Dialogue Forum.

Organised at the media centre of the Russia Today international news agency in Moscow, the one-day business event on Thursday focused on ‘Integral Partnership of India and Russia in the New World Order’.

Speakers, including Russia’s Deputy Minister of Economic Development Dmitry Volvach, Moscow Government’s Minister Sergey Cheremin and Indian Ambassador to Russia Pavan Kapoor, discussed the prospects for an economic breakthrough in cooperation between Russia and India in various sectors as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Alipov, who addressed the gathering virtually, noted that over the 75 years of diplomatic relations, both countries have accumulated a solid baggage of outstanding achievements in the fields of nuclear power, education, science and technology.

“We are seeing a huge surge of interest in India from Russian businesses. And, most importantly, across the spectrum – from large to small business. We also see the Indian business’s interest in Russia. It is important now to transfer this interest into practice,” he said.

Ambassador Kapoor spotlighted the increase in trade from April and also called on Russian businessmen to interact more with Indian entrepreneurs in the pharmaceutical, agro-industry and agriculture, and chemical industries.

“There is a need to conduct more trade transactions in national currencies. It is already possible to open accounts in rupees in some Russian banks,” he mentioned.

Cheremin, who is also Chairman of the Board of the Business Council for Cooperation with India, stressed on participation of Russian companies in Indian infrastructure projects.

He also batted for having a representative of major Indian retail chains in the Russian market, as well as expanding the presence of Indian high-tech companies – those that set up industrial parks and business incubators.

“There are a lot of such companies in India today, and when we visit certain regions of the country, we have seen for ourselves how fast the hi-tech sector and engineering industry is developing in India. All this is also in demand in Russia.”

Emphasising that there are many opportunities for inter-regional and inter-municipal cooperation, he revealed that plans are afoot on assembling a special business mission from the regions and hold a conference in Bangalore or Mumbai in the first half of next year.

Volvach cited the “positive trend” in tourism, noting that in 2021 Russia ranked second in the number of evisas to India.

“Nearly 17,000 Russian tourists visited the country in the first nine months of this year and over 21,000 visitors from India came to Russia. We estimate that up to half a million Indian citizens could come to Russia per year by 2027,” he hoped.

The forum is organised by the Indian Business Alliance (a regional partner of the Roscongress Foundation) with the support of the Department of Foreign Economic and International Relations of Moscow, the Business Council for Cooperation with India (BCCI) and the Roscongress Foundation. The plenary session was be moderated by Sammy Kotwani, President of the Indian Business Alliance.

As reported by IndiaNarrative.com earlier this month, Moscow is keen on developing interregional relations with Indian states which are an additional source of increasing trade turnover and cooperation in the investment field.

The geography of partnership between Moscow and India is not just limited to New Delhi, Alipov had stated at business forum in New Delhi as a local administrative delegation from Moscow government visited New Delhi and Mumbai.

On Thursday, the Russian diplomat once again underscored that regions have a ‘special role’ to play in the development of the relevant economic cooperation.

“Moscow is the undisputed leader in this regard. It offers our Indian partners innovative solutions in areas of digitalization, e-commerce, urban infrastructure development, ICT, medicine, tourism. It is actively followed by St. Petersburg, Mordovia, Ryazan, Perm, Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Kaliningrad, Murmansk, Chelyabinsk, Astrakhan.” (Agency)

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