Russia will not only welcome Indian talent but will also help to have comfortable stay in their country, which will be a win-win for both the countries, Russian Minister of Trade and Industry Denis Manturov told ET amid proposed visa changes in the USA that might impact movement of professionals there in the future.
"We welcome Indian brains to Russia. We are open to high-skilled Indian workforce in Russia and help them settle down in our country. Indians and Russians have the best mathematicians in the world -- both have high-skilled workforce. The government of Russia will work towards this idea of welcoming Indian brains," Manturov told ET in an exclusive interview in Delhi last Friday.
The Russian minister, on his second visit to India in less than six months, is here as part of the celebrations on the occasion of 70 years of bilateral economic ties, and he will also create the ground for PM Narendra Modi's visit to St Petersburg for the International Economic Forum between June 1 and 3. Modi is the guest of honour at the Forum or SPIEF (St Petersburg International Economic Forum) with India as the guest country for the Forum, often described as the Davos of Eurasia.
Pointing out that SPIEF would be a perfect match making opportunity for the Indian corporate sector, Manturov said the PM's presence will add heft to the privileged and special Indo-Russian strategic partnership.
"We are currently in the process of giving final shape and fine tuning the agenda for SPIEF. The Forum held at an important year of bilateral ties will give a good opportunity for the businesses and corporate sectors." Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin will jointly address SPIEF that will include over 5000 business honchos, including some even from the West.
The minister listed heavy engineering, metallurgy, agriculture and farming as areas where India and Russia could work together to produce results besides the traditional areas. "I was in Chennai to attend an engineering meet where Russia was a partner country. The two sides are also looking to cooperate at the small and medium scale industries. We are exploring joint ventures in the SME sector. Besides the two sides can cooperate in certain areas of microbiology and pharmaceutical products.
Russia has made significant achievements in areas of pharmacy, including protein supplements. India can be a big market for such products."
When asked about Russian participation across industrial sectors under the Make in India initiative of the Modi government, Manturov said, "Such projects have to be economically viable. We expect that Russian industrial firms will have the advantage. I was on a business mission to Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Goa last October. The challenge is to increase bilateral trade to $30 bn from the current $7 bn by 2025."