India, Russia discuss joint ventures in aviation, pharma

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on October 10, 2014 Published on October 10, 2014

Working group meeting discusses ways to fast-track projects

India and Russia discussed cooperation in a number of areas including setting up of joint ventures in sectors such as civil aviation, pharmaceuticals, automobiles and fertilisers in a meeting of the working group on modernisation and industrial cooperation on Friday.

With Russian President Vladimir Putin scheduled to visit India in December, the two sides also reviewed progress in the priority investment projects identified in earlier meetings and do some ground-work for the visit, a Commerce Ministry official told BusinessLine.

The Russian side, led by First Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nikitin Gleb, included representatives from a number of Russian companies with business interests in India such as Kamaz Motorz Ltd, GAZ Group, REP and Uralmashzavod.

Ukraine impact

“With the Ukraine crisis souring Russia’s relations with the EU and the US, it is keen to channelise some of its investments into friendlier nations such as India. Both sides will work towards finalising some deals before President Putin’s visit,” the official said.

The working group, which is divided into sub-groups of mining, fertiliser and civil aviation and modernisation, also discussed means of fast-tracking possible joint ventures in various fields. The Indian side was led by senior officials from the Commerce Ministry and included representatives from the Ministries of Civil Aviation, Fertilisers and Heavy Industry.

The Russian delegation also included the Deputy Director of Aviation Department Rostovtseva Lyudmila and Heads of the Departments of Metallurgy and Heavy Machinery and Foreign Economic Relations.

India and Russia are already exploring the possibility of a Free Trade Agreement to boost bilateral trade from the existing $6 billion, which is less than one per cent of India’s total foreign trade.

Russia is interested to do more business in areas such as tractors, industrial machinery and civil aviation, while India wants to attract investments in the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridors, the New Manufacturing and Investment Zones and export more pharmaceuticals and agriculture products.

The two countries are already pursuing joint projects in a number of areas, which need to be pushed. Severstal and NMDC are exploring the possibility for the construction of steel plant and development of the iron-ore deposits in Karnataka.

The GAZ Group and Motijug Group of Kolkata are working on setting up an automobile plant in Haldia.

Russian fertiliser companies Akron and Orgsintez were in talks with India’s IFFCO for a joint venture, but not much progress has taken place.

There are also a number of joint projects in the civil aviation sector that are being pursued. “Both sides want to give a firm push to the projects that are at an advanced stage of finalisation while also looking at newer projects,” the official said.

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Published on October 10, 2014
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