Vijay C Roy
Chandigarh, October 17
With exodus of European, American and Japanese companies after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there are ample opportunities for the Indian firms to invest or increase their export exposure to Russia. According to the Indian Ambassador to Russia, Pavan Kapoor, Moscow seeks fresh partners to fill the void.
India, Netherlands to ink FTA soon
- Reenat Sandhu, Indian Ambassador to the Netherlands, said by next year, both countries would sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
- This will be a game changer for Indian companies especially dealing in engineering goods, chemicals and electric goods as they will have an access to European market.
“India sees Russia as a longstanding and time-tested friend that has played a significant role in its economic development and security,” shared Kapoor. He was in the city to interact with CII members along with Heads of Indian Missions to the US, the Netherlands, Russia, Turkey, Mongolia and Togo to explore the multitude of opportunities available in Punjab and other areas of collaboration with these countries.
Unending sanctions of European and American nations forced multiple western companies to pull out their businesses from Russia. Many companies operating in diverse sectors closed their operations in Russia. Considering this pull-out, there is an opportunity for the Indian companies to fill the void left by western companies.
The envoy said there were plenty of new opportunities for the Indian businesses in the Russian market, especially against the backdrop of the withdrawal of many western companies from the country.
After exporting crude oil at a highly competitive price, Russia has now started to become the preferred destination for Indian companies. In 2021-22, India's exports to Russia stood at $3.25 billion while imports were at $9.87 billion. While during the period April-August this year, the total bilateral trade was $18 billion. Out of the total, imports were $17 billion and exports from India were $1 billion. The huge trade deficit is mainly on account of import of oil from Russia.
For Punjab-based companies, there are opportunities in food processing sector mainly fruit and vegetable concentrates, fruit additives, automobile and auto components, cotton yarn, jute & textiles, packaging and hand tools etc.
Taranjit Singh Sandhu, Ambassador of India to the US, shared that relationship between the US and India would further deepen. Strategic and defence relations, knowledge & education partnership, energy, healthcare and digital IT are the five areas where there is huge opportunity for the partnership, he added.
Highlighting the importance of a thriving Indo-Mongolian relationship, Mohinder Pratap Singh, Ambassador of India to Mongolia, said: “With the India's Act East Policy, the relation with Mongolia plays a critical role towards India’s association with Northeast Asian countries.”
Togo is also looking to invest in the country and sees the massive potential in the Indian industry.
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