Modi invites Russia to set up defense industrial park in India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin
Modi invites Russia to set up defense industrial park in India
Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has invited Russia to set up a dedicated defense industrial park in India while highlighting the steps taken by the government to improve the business climate in the country.

Describing Russia as a traditional ally, the Prime Minister said a special cell has been set up here to facilitate investments from Russia into India.

Huge investment opportunities are there in areas including metro rail construction, Sagarmala (a port-led development project), roads, Modi said while addressing businesses of both the countries at India-Russia Business Summit in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Referring to investment opportunities in the country, Modi said the government is planning metro rails in 50 cities, “there are huge rail, road, ports and airport projects where there are good opportunities for investors”.

“I would suggest Russian side to open a dedicated defense park in India,” he said, adding both the sides can increase cooperation in sectors including space, fertilizer, food processing and gems and jewellery.

He also said that four focus sectors – energy, digital economy, startups and infrastructure are key for the economic growth.

Referring to improvements in India’s rankings by World Bank’s doing business report, WIPO’s innovation index and WEF’s competitiveness index, Modi said this was the reflection of the work being done at the ground level.

“India being described as the bright star has become the sixth largest economy and is on way to become the fifth largest,” the prime minister said.

Russia is a major energy partner of India, he said, adding there is a need to increase cooperation in new and renewable energy also.

Modi said the trade between the two nations has risen 20 per cent in 2017-18.

Addressing the businesses, Putin said the economic cooperation between the countries is growing at a healthy rate.

“We have a reference number to make our trade turnover to USD 30 billion by 2025 and mutual investments should reach 15 billion for each of the countries but we should aim even further and for that, we need to work actively to achieve this,” he said.

He also expressed hope that Indian businesses will take advantage of the opportunities that are opening up in Russia.

Putin added that Russia will contribute to the implementation of ‘Make in India’ initiative.

He said that the trade growth between the two nations is impressive but there is a high potential to increase the volumes.

“We also need to advance our industrial cooperation, technological and investment alliances,” he said.

“We have decided that Indian and Russian governments will work together to eliminate customs and administrative barriers for the movement of goods and services,” Putin said.

Talking about areas of cooperation, he said energy, transport and climate change are the key sectors and Russia has always been a sound supplier of energy for India.

Russia is helping India to develop nuclear energy and “we are also considering building one more nuclear power plant based on Russian design,” the Russian president said.

Russian companies are working in projects to modernize more than 500 km of Indian railways.

“There are also promising projects in high tech areas like aviation and space,” he said adding, “we want to broaden the presence of Indian businesses in Russia”.

In 2017-18, the two-way trade increased to USD 10.7 billion from USD 7.5 billion in the previous fiscal. PTI

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