India, Russia to add impetus to economic ties

Written by Press Trust of India | Moscow | Updated: Sep 30 2009, 05:49am hrs
India and Russia, two of the famous four BRIC economies, on Tuesday vowed to add muscle to their bilateral relations by forging partnership in nuclear energy, bio-technology, nano-technology and core infrastructure.

"We should convert the challenges of the global economic crisis into opportunities by taking a proactive approach," commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma said at the third meeting of the India-Russia Forum on trade and investment, attended by over 350 industry leaders from the two countries.

Russia's deputy prime minister Alexander Zhukov asked the business heads to leverage from each other's strength.

Russia's vast mineral energy resources, cutting-edge technology and India's highly developed IT sector and the auto component industry can push the bilateral trade to $9-billion mark in the near future, he said.

The two nations, at the core of the 'BRIC' Brazil, Russia, India,Chinahave trade totalling $7 billion.

Business leaders, including Harshpati Singhania and K K Modi, under the aegis of Ficci, CII and Assocham, attended the forum meeting inaugurated by Zhukov.

In its much-debated 2003 report, Goldman Sach's had projected that in less than 40 years, the four BRIC economies together could be larger than the G-6 industrialised countries.

Sharma said India's recent space achievements, including the Chandrayan-1 lunar mission and multiple satellite launches were the result of technological cooperation with Russia.

"Sky is the limit when it concerns our cooperation in high-technology with Russia," he said.

The Ficci president said the bilateral trade could touch the $20-billion mark by 2015, which is double the target set for next year. He said there must be movement from commodity trade to cooperation in hi-tech areas.

"The total private Indian investment in Russia is negligible as compared to the US and Europe. The trade diversity and transition from exporting tea and spices could yield a trade turnover to touch $20 billion by 2015," Singhania said. The trade forum is co-chaired by Sharma and Russia's Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina in Moscow.