Elvira Nabiullina, Former Russia’s Minister of Economic Development, Governor of the Bank of Russia: Pharmaceuticals, tea, coffee, tobacco, spices, textiles, leather, plastic products, machinery, and equipment are the main articles of Russia’s imports from India, with pharmaceuticals accounting for over 30% of the total value of imports; agricultural products stand at around 20%; machines, equipment and transport vehicles come to 17%, while textiles occupy 11%.
It should be admitted that the current level of bilateral trade falls far short of the huge potential of the Russian and Indian economies, although changes for the better have obviously been evident in the past few years.
The main thing is the presence of a profound interest among the Russian and Indian partners towards deeper cooperation. A task has been set forth to build up the trade volumes to $ 10 billion in 2010 and to $ 20 billion by 2015. In 2009, this figure went up 7.5% to $ 7.5 billion.
Russian exports rose to almost $ 6 billion. Machinery, equipment and transport vehicles have a noticeably increasing share in them. A sizable part belongs to chemical industry products, including fertilisers (17%) and non-ferrous metal products (11%).
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visited India in March 2010. The sides signed a package of bilateral documents in the course of that visit, including an agreement on cooperation in the peaceful utilization of nuclear power and a “road map” for a construction of nuclear plants in India along a standard Russian model.
The energy sector issues occupy an important place in the Russian-Indian dialogue at present. Russia’s CJSC Atomstroiexport is taking part in the construction of the Kudankulam nuclear plant in India. The Indian side has received the reactors for the first and second power units. They were built at the Izhora Plants factory in St Petersburg. Natural gas giant Gazprom continues implementing the projects for the prospecting and production of hydrocarbon resources on the shelf of the Bay of Bengal. OJSC Stroitransgaz is building pipelines in India.
Cooperation is also expanding on large-scale projects in hydropower and thermal power production. Indian partners, in their turn, are working in the Russian energy sector. India’s state oil and natural gas corporation is taking part as an investor in the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas offshore project in Russia’s Far East.
Russian-Indian cooperation is developing at a good pace in novel technologies, including the IT and telecommunications. AFK Sistema company effectuates a major project in the field of mobile telephone services. It plans to start offering access to high-speed broadband mobile Internet all across India.
Joint Russian-Indian space research is a promising area for interaction.When Prime Minister Putin visited India in March 2010, the two countries signed an agreement on setting up a joint venture to manufacture groundbased navigational equipment for the GLONASS system. The case in hand is the manufacturing of satellite navigators, navigation/telematic systems for transport and the designing of threedimensional models of large Indian cities.
The activity of mechanisms like the Intergovernmental Commission, the Business Council for Cooperation with India (BCCI), and the Russian-Indian CEO’s Council also aims to facilitate bilateral cooperation in trade, research, and technologies. The Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industries and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry maintain intensive contacts, and so do the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and the Confederation of Indian Industry. The forums on trade and investment held annually as of 2007 furnish the sides with a handy instrument in this sense.
The fourth such forum is due in November 2010 and the BCCI has timed for it the publication of the first issue of a magazine focused on Russian-Indian trade and economic relations.
I would like to wish fruitful work in the atmosphere of full mutual understanding to the participants in the forthcoming forum. Also, I hope the new magazine will successfully assist the promotion of long-term effectual contacts between the Russian and Indian partners.