India Eyeing Russian, Ukrainian Mkts

New Delhi, March 24 | Updated: Mar 25 2004, 05:30am hrs
Indias strategy of expanding economic ties with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region has paid up with its business with Kazakhstan and Krygysthan going up by almost 50 per cent since 2002. With this achievement behind it, India is turning its attention to Russia and Ukraine in an attempt to achieve similar results.

From $50 million in 2001, business with Kazakhstan jumped to $72 million in 2003 posting a jump of almost 50 per cent. The growth was mainly on account of business in pharmaceuticals, hospital equipment and consumer goods, said Rajiv Dogra, joint secretary, CIS countries in the external affairs ministry.

Business with Krygysthan went up to $13 million (January to June) in 2003 from mere $8 million in 2001. Consumer goods and textiles were the main items of exports to that country.

Even in case of Russia, if Indian companies invest time and money for making first moves, the market would offer immense returns. Russia today is the most expanding market in the world and has all resources and a new consumer-oriented market. The same is true with Ukraine, said an official. Ukraine too has reached a $2 billion mark in software.

Sources said Confederation of Indian Industry and Federation of Industrial Exporters Organisation (FIEO), will also be involved in organising industrial exhibitions in these two countries.

From early July CII and FIEO will be taking consumer-oriented delegations to both the countries. A Made in India exhibition will take place in September/October this year in Russia. This will coincide with Days of Indian Culture where around 120 artists from India are participating.

Sources said the Indian industry which has been focussing on the European market has not made adequate effort to tap the potential in Russia, which is the largest expanding market. Areas like IT, petrochemicals, SMEs, textiles, woollens and tea have immense potential.