At the third India-Russia Business Dialogue, India’s Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma met D Rogozin, Deputy Prime Minister of Russian Federation and vowed to give a boost to bilateral trade between the two emerging nations. Underscoring the strong potential in the economic partnership of the two nations, the Indian commerce minister affirmed that the bilateral trade between India and Russia, which was around $9 billion in 2011, is set to shoot up to $20 billion by 2015.
Stressing on the need to diversify the trade basket between the two nations, Anand Sharma called for expanding the current profile of trade, which is dominated by commodities with large imports of iron, steel, fertilizer and oil from Russia, to have more value added products. He also highlighted the fact that the gross domestic product (GDP) of both the countries combined would be well over $3 trillion. The commerce minister also invited Russian participation to build a strong infrastructure base in India which is mulling over investing $1 trillion in the infrastructure sector alone in the next five years.
While the Indian minister called Russian companies, which have considerable expertise in pipeline construction technologies to participate in building gas and oil pipelines in the country, he also brought to light the emergence of flourishing partnerships between India and Russia in the telecom sector which he believes would see investments of over $1.5 billion in the coming years.
Sharma opined that India is targeting to double its food processing capabilities in the next five years with the establishment of 64 fully equipped Agro Processing Zones and Food Parks and Russia can be an invaluable partner to develop cross sectoral linkages in the entire value addition chain from agriculture to retail, packaging and logistics. While the commerce minister showed his interest to invite Russian companies both in the development of industrial townships as well as in investments, which will flow into these zones, he also expressed India’s willingness to participate in the Pharma 2020 program of Russia where Russian government has ambitious plans in developing pharmaceutical industry with an objective to reduce healthcare cost.
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