Sitharaman to head Indian delegation to SPIEF

Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s State Minister for Commerce and Industry, with independent charge of the department, will lead the Indian delegation for the prestigious St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) 2015 to be held at St. Petersburg, Russia, on 18-20 June 2015.

Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s State Minister for Commerce and Industry, with independent charge of the department, will lead the Indian delegation for the prestigious St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) 2015 to be held at St. Petersburg, Russia, on 18-20 June 2015.

She will jointly address the Russia-India Business Roundtable along with Alexey Ulyukaev, Russia’s Minister for Economic Development, and aim to resolve issues that have led to a slowdown in bilateral trade.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) will organize a CEOs delegation representing leading Indian Businesses at SPIEF and at the India Russia Business Roundtable. The business delegation will be led by CII President Sumit Mazumder.  An India Reception will also be organized coinciding with SPIEF.

“CII is convinced that India and Russia can achieve $30 billion in bilateral trade by 2025 as targeted. The Druzhba-Dosti Joint Statement of President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December 2014 set the stage for expansion of the bilateral economic engagement in many dimensions, including trade, investment, defence, and energy.,” said Mazumder.

Bilateral India-Russia trade declined to $9.5 billion in 2014 with Indian exports at $3.2 billion and imports from Russia at $6.3 billion, as per data from the Russian Customs. According to CII, this level is not commensurate with the size of the two economies.

Investments in both directions have been robust. India has invested a cumulative $8 billion in Russia, primarily in energy, while Russia has brought in $4 billion into India.

CII has identified the sectors of oil and gas, nuclear energy, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, automotives, heavy engineering and machinery as areas of synergy. “Russian capabilities in infrastructure are well-respected, and we would like Russian companies to participate in the Indian tender system for public-private partnerships,” said Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII. “However, we need to address issues of information gaps through the India-Russia Business Roundtable.”

CII has co-hosted the India-Russia Business Roundtable with its Russian partner, Business Council for Cooperation with India (BCCI) since 2009 when it was first held. The forum has emerged as an excellent platform for bringing together Indian and Russian government leaders with business. Cooperation between the private sectors of the two sides is sought to be enhanced to expand economic relations.

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