Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Prime Minister's Office
16-December-2011 18:15 IST
Remarks by Prime Minister at the Joint Meeting with CEOs from India and Russia

Following is the text of the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh’s remarks at the Joint meeting with CEOs from India and Russia in Moscow today:


“I am very happy to be here with President Medvedev to meet all of you.


In the last few years, the governments of both our countries have taken a policy decision to bring our economic and trade relations to the level of our cooperation in the traditional areas of cooperation such as defence, nuclear energy and space.  We have set a target to raise our trade volume to 20 billion US dollars by 2015.


Apart from the Inter-Governmental Commission, we have set up several mechanisms to promote greater business-to-business interaction. These include the Forum on Trade and Investment and the CEO’s Council.


We would like to know from you what you feel needs to be done to promote the trade and investment aspect of our relationship. 


Our government is committed to create a policy environment that is conducive for Russian companies to do business in India, and to invest in India.  We are working with Russia in the areas of mutual recognition of standards and financial practices, facilitation of visa and other regulatory requirements, policy measures to promote trade and investment and creation of institutional mechanisms to address trade disputes.


The opportunity for a substantial expansion of our economic relations is now.  At a time of a global economic slowdown, when traditional engines of growth are in difficulty, the Indian and Russian economies can be natural partners in reviving growth, creating infrastructure and generating surpluses.


India warmly welcomes Russia’s entry into the World Trade Organisation. We are also keen to enter into a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with the Customs Union comprising Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. We have already decided to set up a Joint Study Group in this regard.


The initiative taken by Russia to launch an extensive economic modernization and privatization programme has opened new avenues for Indian companies. 


The Indian economy, on the other hand, has grown at an average rate of 8.5% since 2004.  While there will be a slowdown in the short term due to the global situation, we are aiming at a growth target of 9% in the next Five Year Plan period.  I invite Russian industry to participate in our infrastructure and other development programmes.


I am encouraged by some of the success stories of investments and business tie-ups in the recent past.  NMDC and Severstal are setting up a large joint venture in India to produce steel. Indian companies are discussing long-term agreements of supply of diamonds from Russia.  The Steel Authority of India and the National Minerals Development Corporation are interested in procuring coking and thermal coal from Russia. Indian companies are keen to import metals like copper and nickel.  There have been Russian investments in the telecommunications sector in India, and Indian investments in the oil and gas sector in Russia. 


Yet there are vast unexplored areas that await exploitation. I refer in particular to the areas of pharmaceuticals, fertilisers, financial services, power, health, chemicals and aviation.


Innovation and commercialisation of scientific research and technologies have been identified by the India-Russia Forum as another thrust area of cooperation.


I call upon you to further intensify your efforts and make full use of the excellent political relations between our two countries to expand our trade and economic cooperation.  I will you all success in your endeavours.”