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Mr. Anand Sharma Minister of Commerce and Industry of India: I commend the initiative of Business Council for Cooperation with India for bringing out a special edition of Information an Analytical magazine, on the eve of the 4th Russia-India Forum on Trade and Investment in India. India and Russia have a strategic partnership, spanning all sectors of economy. While Government-to-Government cooperation forms the basis of this special relationship, the private sector now needs to engage in a far bigger and meaningful manner to give an impetus to the bilateral economic engagement.

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Indo-Russia bilateral trade stood at US$4.54 billion in 2009-10 and we have agreed to a target of US$ 20 billion by2015. This will need a concerted push of government and industry to create an enabling environment and the emergence of joint ventures which will help us to achieve this goal.

Small and medium enterprises constitute a significant component of Indian exports, contributing to over 60% of the total export volume. We attach considerable importance to the modernization of the SMEs and we need to create a new paradigm to allow SMEs to flourish as incubators of innovation. This will necessitate mutual recognition of institutions and procedures and an enabling legal framework. Enhanced business to business ties through regular buyerseller meets and business fairs would help in deepening the private sector engagement.

I am sure that the first edition of the information and analytical magazine would serve a useful purpose to investors on both sides and we will be fully supportive in building greater synergies to help us achieve our objectives.