India-Russia bilateral trade, as per latest official Russian data, grew 31.4 percent during the ten months of January-October 2012, compared to the identical period in 2011. Moreover, the flow of Russian tourists to India has risen significantly since mid-2011 and witnessed a further 22 percent growth during calendar year 2012, compared to calendar year 2011.
“The more liberal visa regime that we have been implementing since June 2011 has contributed to the 22 percent annual growth in tourism from Russia to India, Ajai Malhotra, Ambassador of India to the Russian Federation said. “The number of visas issued by the Embassy of India, Moscow, and its Consulates General in St Petersburg and Vladivostok, has increased from 1,07,000 in 2010 to 1,31,000 in 2011 and crossed 1,60,000 in 2012. We are undertaking fresh tourism promotion initiatives across Russia this year and expect this trend to continue in 2013,” the ambassador added.
The ambassador also expressed happiness about the growth in bilateral trade. “This substantial growth should also be seen against the backdrop of a global economic slowdown and a marginal decline in India’s overall trade during 2012. This constitutes one of the fastest growth rates in our trade with Russia in recent years. In fact, by October 31, 2012, we have nearly reached the trade figure for the entire year 2011.”