Be India’s partner in prosperity: Modi to Russian CEOs

Moscow, Dec 24 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday invited Russian businesses to become India’s partner in prosperity.

“I am here to invite our partner in security to become our partner in prosperity also,” Modi said while addressing a meeting of chief executives of Russian and Indian companies which was also attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The meeting was held in the Kremlin following the annual summit-level meeting between India and Russia.

“Russia has and will always be a vital & long-term partner, not only in energy and mineral resources, but in cutting edge technologies too,” Modi said, according to tweets posted by external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup.

“The good news is that our trade and business relations are becoming vibrant. A number of Russian and Indian companies are working together,” he said.

According to the prime minister, nature has destined India and Russia to work together. .

“From hydrocarbons, our cooperation is moving to the hardest form of carbon – diamonds,” he said.

On his part, President Putin said that high technology, innovation, energy, aircraft building, pharmaceuticals and diamonds are promising areas for India-Russian cooperation.

Around 19 Indian CEOs have travelled with Modi for this meeting, including Anil Ambani, chairman, Reliance Group, Baba N Kalyani, chairman and managing director, Bharat Forge Limited, and Ravi Ruia, vice-chairman, Essar Group.

Also Adi Godrej, chairman, Godrej Industries, Suvarna Raju, chairman, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Chandrajit Banerjee, director general, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) travelled to Moscow.

According to sources, around 34 business leaders from various Russian companies participated in the meeting.

At the government level, the two nations have collaborated in numerous projects. The one unique historical cooperation between Russia and India is BrahMos, a world-class supersonic cruise missile.

Cumulative Indian investments in Russia for the period 2000-14 are estimated to be about $8 billion. Indian interests in Russia have seen a qualitative shift over the last five years.

Traditional ties were confined to defence, nuclear and heavy industry. At present, the private sectors of both countries are looking for a relationship that is more explorative, innovative, dynamic and entrepreneurial.

Both India and Russia recognise that a vibrant and robust economic and commercial engagement is central to their strategic partnership. The two nations have agreed to work towards taking mutual investments to $15 billion by 2025.

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