Need to enhance investment with Russian Far East to achieve $30 bn trade: Swaraj
The Dollar Business Bureau
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Tuesday that there is a need to enhance trade, investment and commerce with the extreme eastern parts of Russia or Russian Far East in order to achieve the $30 billion target, set for bilateral trade between the two countries, by 2025.
“The Russian Far East is one of the richest regions in the world and India is among the fastest growing large economies of the world. There is lot that can be done together. When other markets are closing, we need to find new ones and create virtuous cycles of investment. Investment is in the ultimate analysis an act of faith,” Sushma said, while speaking at the India-Russia Business Dialogue at the Eastern Economic Forum in Russia.
The Minister said that the leadership of both nations had identified economic and trade relations as a key priority in their overall ties and the two countries made considerable investments last year in each other’s nations.
“India has invested about $5.5 billion in Russia’s oil sector. The investment of $12.9 billion from Russia into India, also the largest foreign direct investment (FDI) of India, was finalised last month between Essar and Rosneft,” she said.
“India has the best of political ties with Russia. Both countries have been partners for around 70 years, and the friendship between the two has expanded to nearly all the areas of human activity,” she added.
Terming the dialogue as a new and “promising” start in enhancing economic ties of India with the Russian Far East, the Minister said that the two nations need to identify areas of mutual interest and encourage further interactions.
“I see this as the start of a new and promising beginning in expanding India’s economic ties with the Russian Far East. I am confident that the Russian Government will assist Indian investors in the region,” she said.
Swaraj also asked for the business community of Russia to invest in India. “I would like to reiterate our invitation to regions and businesspersons of the Far East to visit India, Greater trade, commerce and investment with the Far East will help us in achieving the target of $30 billion that we have set for our bilateral trade by the year 2025,” she said.
Swaraj further said that India’s economy is firmly moving towards a robust growth trajectory due to the progressive and vibrant policies of the Government. Ambitious policy initiatives such as the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) have made it easier to do business in India.
She said that under the flagship programmes such as ‘Make in India’ and ‘Start-up India’, the Government had made concentrated efforts for attracting investments, technology, and best practices into the country from across the globe.