India looking forward to substantial Russian investments in Make-in-India projects: Shringla

Last Updated : 19 February 2021, 16:07 IST
Last Updated : 19 February 2021, 16:07 IST

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India is looking forward to substantial Russian investments in the Make-in-India projects, including in defence, railways and petrochemical sector, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla has said.

Shringla was on an official visit to Moscow from February 17-18 for the India-Russia Foreign Office Consultations. It was his first foreign trip this year.

In an interview to Russian newspaper Kommersant on Thursday, Shringla said India and Russia are looking at substantial investments in each other’s energy sectors, including looking at new opportunities for supply of Russian Coking Coal for Indian steel sector.

"We are also looking forward to major substantial Russian investments in the Make-in-India projects in India including in defence, railways, inland waterways, highways and petrochemical sector," he said.

According to the website of the Indian embassy in Russia, the total bilateral trade between the two countries from January-September 2019 stood at USD 7.55 billion.

"Intensifying the trade and economic relations has been identified as a priority area by the leaders on both sides as is clear by the revised targets of increasing bilateral investment to USD 50 billion and bilateral trade to USD 30 billion by 2025," it noted.

Shringla said his discussions in Moscow confirmed the vitality of India's relations with Russia.

"We have an active agenda to carry forward the decisions of the last Summit during Prime Minister Modi’s highly successful visit to Vladivostok in September 2019 at the Eastern Economic Forum where he was also the Chief Guest," the foreign secretary said.

Fourteen MoUs in the fields of trade and investments, defence cooperation, road transport and cooperation in oil and gas sectors were signed during the visit of the prime minister in 2019.

Annual summits, regular consultations between the Foreign Ministries, cooperation in Defence, Nuclear and Space sectors, Energy, Science & Technology are the key facets of the India-Russia relationship, Shringla noted.

India has longstanding and wide-ranging cooperation with Russia in the field of defence. In March 2019 in Uttar Pradesh's Amethi, Modi had announced the JV – Indo-Russian Rifles Pvt Ltd for production of AK Series Assault Rifles at Ordnance Factory Korwa under the ‘Make-in-India’ programme.

"Our people-to-people contacts are also evolving. We intend to have a special programme for cooperation with the Buddhist regions of Russia. We would be opening an Indian Energy Centre in Moscow and a Tourism Office by summer this year," Shringla said.

"Most importantly, we look forward to an active bilateral schedule of meetings including a Bilateral Summit during the course of this year," he said.

Addressing a meeting hosted by the Diplomatic Academy of Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday, Shringla had said India-Russia trade, amounting to USD 10.11 billion in FY 2019-2020, is far below the potential.

He emphasised that India and Russia should diversify their trade basket and economic exchanges by going beyond the traditional sectors and cooperating in new areas like railways, transport and logistics, pharmaceuticals, minerals and steel that will add momentum to the bilateral ties.

Published 19 February 2021, 16:07 IST

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