Business Council
for Cooperation with India

Mr B Muthuraman, Former President of CII, Vice Chairman of Tata Steel, India's largest steel manufacturer and chairman Tata International:
 Indian industry is privileged to participate in the prestigious platform of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum and the concomitant India Russia Business Dialogue. Over the years, the India Russia Business Dialogue has emerged as a highly effective meeting point for Indian and Russian business leaders, offering an excellent opportunity to build on our robust bilateral relationship.


India and Russia are warm friends and close partners, sharing high mutual respect and appreciation of each other’s cultures and attainments. In the last two decades, the two countries have embarked on historical economic reforms and have emerged as global economic leaders. A high level of political connectivity is driving our economic partnership to new heights and we in Indian industry look forward with great excitement to realizing the vast potential in bilateral trade and investment…

India-Russia trade expanded by a multiple of over three times between 2004-05 and 2009. The rapid pace of growth was maintained in 2010 with bilateral merchandise exchange at $8.5 billion, comprising Russian exports to India at $6.3 billion and imports from India at over $2 billion. Investments from both sides are also expanding in multiple sectors. Given the strong external engagement of both countries, we see high scope in the future as our economies reprise their high growth trajectories.

The two Governments have set a trade target of $20 billion by 2015, and it is incumbent on the private sectors of both sides to strengthen and deepen their networks for meeting this target. Exploring new areas of economic cooperation and creating platforms for interaction through business events such as SPIEF can greatly assist in this mission. Potential areas of collaboration exist in climate change and sustainable development technology, innovative civil nuclear and renewable energy, nanotechnology, advanced technology and science such as biotechnology, material sciences, hydrology, etc. and many others. The Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement could go a long way in unlocking the potential and could be fast-tracked.

Earlier discussions on the SPIEF platform have proved valuable in identifying such opportunities in specific sectors and creating linkages between businesses and institutions of both sides. Many of the issues mentioned at the India-Russia Trade and Investment Forum are being addressed, such as telecommunications, oil and gas, transport routes, visas and movement of people, etc. Indian industry welcomes the Government initiatives and pledges to reinforce bilateral commercial relations in order to take the traditional friendship of India and Russia to a new level.