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Russia–India
7 June 2019
10:00—11:15
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Russian-Indian relations are on the rise

We can say that this relationship [between Russia and India, – Ed.] can be characterized not only as strategic, but as very politically and economically active. <…> Last year commercial turnover grew by 17% to USD 11 billion — Sergei Cheryomin, Head of Department for Foreign Economic Activity and International Relations, Moscow City Government; Chairman of the Board, Business Council for Cooperation with the Republic of India.

We recently had an election and we are going to continue developing our relationship with Russia. We are going to take significant steps that will forecast our relations for years to come. <…> There are no political obstacles in our way — Venkatesh Varma Datla Bala, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of India in the Russian Federation.

Indian market can attract Russian companies

Today, we are an enormous economy – an economy that is growing rapuidly and will continue growing for decades. Direct investment return in India is the highest in the world. Thus, there is no reason why Russian business should not look at India to invest — Venkatesh Varma Datla Bala, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of India in the Russian Federation.

Indian economy grew by 7% annually for the past 10 years. We owe this growth to the stable economic policy of our government. It was a progressive policy, and during the next 5 years we can expect economic stability, improvements and reform — Vikram Kirloskar, President, Confederation of Indian Industry.

Indian companies do well in Russia

Russian government came up with a localization policy a few years ago. We took duly note of it. <…> Today, we design medication to battle cancer and invest 30 billion annually. Together with our partners we found ways to localize production — Venkata Ramana Motupalli, Chief Executive Officer of Branded Markets for India and Emerging Countries, Dr. Reddys Laboratories.

Economic cooperation institutes established between Russia and India

Russian-Indian Strategic Dialogue has been established. Our goal is to reach economic indices set by our countries’ leadership. Our task is to concentrate analytics and research, as well as efforts of regional governments and businesses to attain that goal — Aleksandr Sinitsyn, President, Center for Strategic Research Foundation.

We have four partners in Russia in the regions where we have our chapters. Their goal is to help Russian investors to find partners in different sectors of our economy. Russia does indeed occupy a special place in India’s investment agenda — Siddharth Bhatia, Vice President, National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of India.

ISSUES
Cooperation potential between Russia and India is not being used to its full capacity

The ambitious goals set by our leaders – developing the trade between our countries to USD 30 billion by 2025 and mutual investment volume to USD 50 billion – are not yet met — Sergei Cheryomin, Head of Department for Foreign Economic Activity and International Relations, Moscow City Government; Chairman of the Board, Business Council for Cooperation with the Republic of India.

Unfortunately, our trade [in pharmaceutical sector – Ed.] is stalling. If we take the turnover between India and the US it is over USD 6 billion, while with Russia the number is less than 400 million. <…> We need a new cooperation model between India and Russia — Vikram Singh Punia, President, Pharmasyntez.

There is a through duty on all fertilizers that are brought into India. The exception is only made for the countries that signed bilateral agreements — Sirodzh Loikov, Deputy General Director for International Projects, Member of the Management Board, PhosAgro.

Indian companies are cautious about investing in Russia

We aimed to create a fully functional Russian-Indian consortium, with 5 billion roubles in and 10 billion rupees. We are yet to find an Indian company, as most of them are afraid to invest in Russia. <…> That is a problem, since there are a lot of companies that want to do projects in Russia, but Indian companies are not ready for it — Alexey Yushchuk, General Director, Vireo Energy .

SOLUTIONS
Analyzing promising markets for cooperation expansion

Our work is based on deep economic research of our countries’ economic profile. <…> Based on this analysis, we have launched five round tables <…> on certain topics: industry and trade, agriculture, SME, high tech, and transport infrastructure — Aleksandr Sinitsyn, President, Center for Strategic Research Foundation.

A few weeks ago, we published <…> a comparative research of small and medium-sized enterprises in Russia and in Europe. There is no reason why we cannot do the same and create a shared database between Russia and India. We could step outside BRICS not just for small and medium-sized companies, but for companies of all sizes and for private borrowers — Igor Zelezetsky, Chief Executive Officer, Analytical Credit Rating Agency (ACRA).

Step outside traditional cooperation boundaries to attract new companies

We need to analyze new players and new areas for our cooperation. <…> We will need to attract new players, “new blood” in terms of business interests. We need to attract new start-ups and new entrepreneurs — Venkatesh Varma Datla Bala, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of India in the Russian Federation.

We need a ‘fresh blood injection’. We need to attract talent, people with research in analytics, artificial intelligence, and other technologies that could help us find the adequate answer to the challenges presented by the world today — Shiv Vikram Khemka, Vice Chairman, SUN Group.

Involving Russian companies in modernizing India’s transport infrastructure

This September, we are wrapping up preliminary investment planning for modernizing Nagpur – Secunderabad track. It is 575 km long — Alexander Misharin, First Vice President, Russian Railways.

The development trend, especially that for the development of internal waterways [in India, – Ed.] that take shape today, gives us confidence that the participation of the Russian Federation in these projects is crucial — Alexey Rakhmanov, United Shipbuilding Corporation President .

Mutual state support in certain industries

It is feesible to talk to the government of India to create a special economic zone for the Russian pharmaceutical industry. India could prepare the infrastructure, tax incentives, and all the prerequisites so that we could invest into the Indian economy. <…> Pharmasyntez alone could invest over USD 100 million in pharmaceutical substances over the next 3–4 years. The same model could be used for Indian companies in Russia — Vikram Singh Punia, President, Pharmasyntez.

In terms of intergovernmental support <…> it could be leasing with an eye towards big projects, like digitalization of mining or steel industries — Pavel Rastopshin, Managing Director, Zyfra.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS