With India and Russia aiming to boost trade and investments, Russian firms have already started showing interest to participate in Indian projects. Telecommunications major Sistema has expressed interested to build smart cities in India and petrochemical giant Sibur would be committing further investments for the Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) butyl rubber plant.
According to a government official, India is expecting to announce various MOUs looking at investments from Russia in India and Indians investing in Russia. “In a build up to the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin, both the governments have been discussing investment proposals. Russian firms are also keen in automobiles, mining, defence, railways, agriculture, food processing industry and the Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor,” the official said.
Putin, who will be meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 11 for the annual bilateral summit, will also emphasise on having faster cooperation for building the long pending International North South Corridor Project (INSTC) that runs through Iran which aims to reduce the time involved in transporting goods from India to Europe to half.
Besides, Putin is also expected to have discussions with various Indian CEOs to seek investments, the official added. From 2000 to 2014, India has invested over $8 billion in Russia and Russia has invested $3.6 billion in India.
Further, Russia has also showcased their industrial parks as an upcoming investment area where it expects Indians to invest in the coming years.
With just $10 billion in bilateral trade in 2013, India and Russia are not expected to meet their target of $15 billion by 2015, but both are talking about a free trade agreement with the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus as well as joint energy exploration.