Date : 20 Sep 2013
Location : New Delhi

The Union Minister of Commerce & Industry Shri Anand Sharma yesterday met Mr. Dmitry Rogozin, Deputy Prime Minister, Russia, and its Industry and Trade Minister, Mr. Denis Manturov. Shri Sharma is in St. Petersburg to attend the 7th India Russia Forum on Trade and Investment. The visit assumes significance in the light of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s forthcoming visit to Russia next month.

During his meetings, Shri Sharma forcefully pressed for market access for Indian products. Pharmaceutical products figured very high on the agenda. The Indian Minister asked for regulatory simplification for supply of Indian generic medicines to Russia. In the past, the Indian Side had requested the Russian side to examine the issues troubling the Indian pharmaceutical companies during the recently held 19th India Russia Working Group on Trade and Economic Cooperation (IRWGTEC) meeting in Moscow. Shri Sharma said that “as Indian pharma companies are keen to establish manufacturing bases in Russia, it is imperative that Russian government should address their concerns in an expeditious manner.”

In a renewed thrust to joint manufacturing in hi-tech areas, India and Russia have developed a framework for tracking key prority projects at the Ministerial level.  The sectors covered under this Joint Understanding & Intention on Possible Plans and Priority Investment Projects for Enhancing Indo-Russian Economic & Investment Cooperation include automobile, industrial and road-building machinery, Chemical & Petrochemical Industry, Civil aircraft construction, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, energy, diamonds, IT, automobiles, and agro and processed foods. Shri Sharma along with Russian Ministers reviewed the identified projects. Under petrochemical industry, both sides expressed satisfaction over the progress made by plant construction unit for manufacturing butyl rubber with capacity of 100000 tons per year at the production site of “Reliance Industries” in Jamnagar in Gujarat. The new complex will be the biggest in India and one of the biggest in the world regarding butyl rubber production. In early 2010 CJSC “SIBUR holding”, a Russian petrochemical company and “Reliance Industries Limited” signed a MoU regarding establishment of the joint venture for rubber production in India. In February 2013, the construction of the Plant started. Shri Sharma and his counterpart expressed hope that the plant will be operational by 2015 as per the schedule. 

Under civil aircraft construction sector, both sides have agreed for collaboration of joint development and manufacturing of civilian aircrafts and helicopters for especially for emergency relief and medical purposes. This collaboration will not only be for domestic use, but will also explore the possibilities of third country exports. One of the projects under collaboration for civilian aircrafts/helicopters envisages the setting up the joint venture for manufacturing on Indian factories different modifications of light helicopters Ka-226T for medical, rescue and other purposes. The Russian side has mooted a new proposal involving IL-112V.    

Shri Sharma expressed happiness over the current development whereby the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (FSVPS) had cancelled temporary ban on import of rice/rice cereals and peanuts from India to Russia with from 1st September, 2013. Further, Shri Sharma highlighted the issues regarding export of bovine meat from India and market access to egg powder. On this Shri Sharma said that “           Russian FSVPS may expedite their favorable recommendation so that export of bovine meat and egg powder could begin immediately from India.” On this, the Russian Minister conveyed Shri Sharma that a review will be taken in October 2013 and hoped that a satisfactory resolution will be formed.

Indentifying the biotechnology and nanotechnology as emerging areas for collaboration, Shri Sharma also stressed the need to leverage India’s expertise in Information Technology Sector. Both the sides were of the firm opinion that in mining and metallurgy sector, there has been a long-standing partnership between India and Russia in the steel sector which has provided excellent results over time. But at the same time, they felt that there is still considerable scope of cooperation in modernization of steel manufacturing facilities. Shri Sharma was informed that Russian companies in power sector are keen to participate in modernization of old power plants and heavy engineering units based in India.

Shri Sharma informed the Russian side about the recent liberalization in FDI regime in India. He said that liberalization in defence manufacturing and telecom will create new opportunities for joint ventures in the areas. The Russian side welcomed the measures taken by the Indian government. However, they stressed a need to maintain regulatory certainty and stability in the policy regime.

Shri Sharma appraised the Russian side on the movements made by the Joint Working Group on Modernization and Industrial Cooperation. The first meeting of the Group was held in August 29, 2012. “I am sure that this will have a beneficial impact on our trade and investment links. For this the JWG has identified specific activities for cooperation between the two nations in sectors like mining, fertilizers, aviation, industrial machinery, pharmaceuticals and automobiles. These new ideas which were brought to the table during the meeting of the JWG need to be fructified,” said Shri Sharma. The Indian Minister also noted that the second meeting of the Working Group will be held in October this year.

The Russian side was conveyed by Shri Sharma about Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridord (DMIC) approving nine projects with an investment of Rs. 1,20,000 crores from Central, State Governments and the private sectors recently. The Minister invited Russian participation in a multi-modal logistical hub and airport in Jodhpur-Pali-Marwar region to be developed as part of DMIC Project under India’s National Manufacturing Policy.