The Union Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textiles Shri Anand Sharma on 21JUN12 addressed a group of political and business leaders from Russia and India at the third “India-Russia Business Dialogue” which was held under the umbrella of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2012.
Speaking on the historical bonds between the two nations, Shri Sharma said that India and Russia today share a “special and privileged strategic partnership” which permeates the entire spectrum of economic activity.
Highlighting the fact that the GDP of both the countries is over US$ 3 trillion, Shri Sharma further added that the bilateral trade between India and Russia in 2011 was in the range of US$ 9 billion. “We have set for ourselves an ambitious target of reaching US$ 20 billion by 2015. However, there is a need to diversify the trade basket between our countries as the current profile of trade is dominated by commodities with large imports of iron, steel, fertilizer and oil from Russia. We need to expand the trade basket to have more value added products,” he underlined during the event.
Shri Sharma welcomed Russian participation to build a strong infrastructure base in India. “We are also building gas and oil pipelines and Russian companies have considerable expertise in pipeline construction technologies which will greatly be valued. In the telecom sector, of course, we have seen the emergence of flourishing partnerships between India and Russia which will see investments of over US$ 1.5 billion in the coming years” said Shri Sharma.
India aims to double its food processing capabilities in the next five years with the establishment of 64 fully equipped Agro Processing Zones and Food Parks. He said that Russia “can be an invaluable partner to develop cross sectoral linkages in the entire value addition chain from agriculture to retail, packaging and logistics.”
With the rolling out of the National Manufacturing Policy last year, Shri Sharma showed interest for Russian companies to help develop industrial townships as well as to provide investment for these special economic zones.
India is also keen to participate in the Pharma 2020 program of Russia where Russian Government has ambitious plans in developing pharmaceutical industry with an objective to reducing healthcare cost.