Russia a long-standing and time-tested partner of India, says Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu

Bengaluru:

Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, said that Russia has been a long-standing and time-tested partner of India and relations with Russia have always been of trust, understanding, and reciprocity.

Addressing Interactive Forum between Small and Medium Enterprises of India and Russia in Bengaluru, Suresh Prabhu said that the partnership is today titled as a “Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership” and the two nations enjoy a multi-dimensional cooperation extending to all areas of bilateral relationship – political, security, trade and economy, defence, education, science & technology, culture and people to people. He said that the bilateral relationship has taken on a new momentum in recent times due to the relations built between President Putin and Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

Denis Manturov, Minister of Industry & Trade Russian Federation and Sergey Cheremin, Minister of the Government of Moscow and Chairman of the Business Council for Cooperation with India were present on this occasion.

The Commerce Minister said that today India is the fastest growing economy in the world and the resolute reform process of the last few years has established a strong foundation for continued growth. By 2030 India is expected to be the third largest economy in the world with a huge section of middleclass consumers. In order to reach that position the country requires more and improved infrastructure, access to energy, quality goods and services and a modern agriculture sector. Russia is well placed to meet our needs in these areas. Russia also has some of the greatest scientific minds and therefore we must encourage collaboration between educational institutions and businesses of the two countries.

India, has the right talent, friendly environment and favourable government policies required for businesses to be nurtured. It is an increasingly welcoming place for investing and doing business with a demand-based service environment.

Suresh Prabhu said that the two Governments are working to address and resolve trade and investment barriers with a view to facilitating and advancing private sector cooperation. The Government of India has already announced the setting up of a fast track, single-window mechanism for Russian companies which would be chaired by Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry. This mechanism would be in addition to the Russia Desk that had been set up to promote Russian investment in India.

The India-Russia bilateral investment treaty discussions have commenced and has been greatly appreciated by the Industry However the SMEs are often under informed about the schemes that exist.

Therefore, there is a need to curate a digital bridge between the two economies so that SMEs can benefit from it and to create awareness about Russia in India to promote more technology and capital transfers. It is also required that we are share our best practices to make our alliance as smooth as possible and create a vigorous market with access to capital and technology for businesses both in India and Russia. The two countries could cooperate in sectors such as energy resources, gold and diamonds, infrastructure development, digital technologies, research & development, pharma & biotechnology and agriculture among others.