India and Russia are considering market access in rail and other sectors

India and Russia are considering market access in rail and other sectors
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Russian Railways Holding is interested in participating in Indian projects to modernize railway infrastructure. Sergey Pavlov, first deputy head of Russian Railways, told reporters on the fringes of the XV. International Economic Forum of CIS Member States “Dialogue of Integrations: CIS, EAEU, SCO, BRICS”.

India-Russia trade and economic partnership across sectors including rail, agriculture and pharmaceuticals has received a boost from a series of meetings and agreements held over the past week. Russian Railways Holding remains interested in participating in the Indian railway infrastructure modernization projects.

Sergey Pavlov, first deputy head of Russian Railways, told reporters on the fringes of the XV. International Economic Forum of CIS Member States “Dialogue of Integrations: CIS, EAEU, SCO, BRICS”.

“Of course we will now discuss other promising projects at the IPC,” he replied when asked by journalists how to keep interest in participating in projects in India. Pavlov added that the holding company is primarily interested in modernizing India’s railway network.

Earlier, Russian Railways reported that foreign companies are still interested in cooperation with Russian Railways. One of the goals of Russian Railways foreign business for 2023 is the development of markets for infrastructure projects that have the synergy of increasing exports to Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Iran, India and other countries.

Meanwhile, Obninsk and Indian entrepreneurs met for a traditional business breakfast at the Obninsk Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Discussions were devoted to economic activities, in particular, the development of cooperation between the Kaluga region and India. “We will be happy to work with you,” noted entrepreneurs from India during the meeting.

The Obninsk Chamber of Commerce and Industry pledged to provide full support to businessmen.

The business mission of Russian companies exporting agricultural products started its mission in India on March 14 with the opening of the Russian pavilion at the international exhibition AAHAR International Food & Hospitality Fair 2023 and a business forum organized by the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia and the Federal Government Center “Agroexport ‘ with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare in the Republic of India.

From the Russian side, the forum was attended by the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia, Rosselkhoznadzor, the Union of Grain Exporters, the National Union of Poultry Farmers and more than 20 leading Russian manufacturers and exporters of agricultural products, from the Indian side – more than 90 importers, traders, distributors, Processors and industry associations including the Indian Chamber of International Business, Indian Cereals and Pulses Producers and Exporters Association, Organic Producers Association and others.

As Maxim Markovich, director of the Department of International Cooperation and Development of Agricultural Products Export of the Russian Ministry of Agriculture, noted at the opening ceremony, India is Russia’s most important partner in trade of agricultural products and food in South Asia. In 2022, trade revenue increased by 60% and totaled $1.7 billion. However, the Ministry and the Russian economy see great prospects in the further development of cooperation with Indian partners.

According to Manpreet Singh, President of the Indian Chamber of International Business, agriculture is one of the most important sectors in trade relations between the two countries and cooperation in this area has existed for many centuries. He spoke about the peculiarities of the food market in India, including differences in demand and taste preferences by region of the country. “India should not be seen as a single market. If you want to offer your products, you have to diversify your basket, focus on different regions and different segments and take into account the specifics of these regions.”

The head of Agroexport, Dmitry Krasnov, who moderated the plenary session, highlighted the main trends in the Indian market and assessed the potential of Russian exports. Over the past five years, Russian exports of agricultural products to India have increased almost fivefold, reaching nearly $800 million. The main suppliers are sunflower and soybean oil. “But we see great opportunities for increased deliveries in these areas. We expect that by solving financial and logistical issues, our shipments of oil and fat products may reach 800,000 tons and exceed $1 billion in the coming years,” Krasnov predicted.

There is also great potential in the export of legume products. Bimal Kothari, chairman of the Indian Grain and Pulse Producers and Importers Association, pointed to the ever-growing demand for legumes: their consumption in the South Asian country is forecast to reach 35 million tons by 2030.

Assistant to the head of Rosselkhoznadzor Artem Daushev pointed to the prospects for the export of meat and finished meat products to India. “We still don’t ship many animal products to India, but we hope to expand volumes,” Daushev said. In his speech, he addressed the principles of Russia’s quality control system, which provides full traceability from field to counter.

Food Corporation of India Deputy General Manager Chandrasen Kumar confirmed the high potential for increasing mutual sales of agro-industrial products, including processed products, thanks to long-term and historically close bilateral relationships built on trust. The opportunities of Russian suppliers were again presented by Eduard Zernin, Chairman of the Board of the Union of Grain Exporters, Sergey Lakhtyukhov, Director General of the National Poultry Union, and Ilya Ilyushin, an independent expert.

Russian financial institutions like Sberbank can help exporters not only facilitate transactions abroad, but also assist in finding partners and arranging negotiations. Ivan Nosov, CEO of Sberbank’s Indian department, spoke about the work of the bank’s New Delhi branch and the tools offered to both Russian and Indian companies.

Meanwhile, at the Russian-Indian Pharma Business Meeting, representatives of 54 Indian companies presented the potential of the Tyumen region for the development of pharmaceutical business.

Anton Mashukov, Director of the Regional Department of Investment Policy and State Support for Entrepreneurship, spoke in detail about the possibilities of cooperation with India. He pointed out that the region has both opportunities and a sense of achievement – namely, a large-scale project developed there by an investor with Indian roots – the Pharmasyntez-Tyumen plant. This company is one of the largest in Russia and produces hypoglycemic and antituberculosis drugs, antimicrobial, hemostatic and antiviral drugs. Indian companies have shown interest in the capabilities of the Tyumen region and will consider specific needs for medicines, equipment, investment niches and prospects for cooperation.

On March 15, a delegation from the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Inspection (“Rosselkhoznadzor”) held talks in New Delhi with the representatives of the Animal Husbandry and Dairy Industry Department of the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairy Industry of the Government of Russia India A series of questions concerned the access of Russian products of animal origin to the Indian markets. In addition, the issue of mutual cooperation in the field of veterinary safety was discussed, including scientific dialogue between the relevant institutions. The Rosselkhoznadzor delegation invited Indian colleagues to visit Russia to exchange experiences in the fight against the spread and elimination of particularly dangerous animal diseases.


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