“You are home; the Russian Consulate in Mumbai is like you home. Our ties are so close,” says Alexey Novikov, Consul General, Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Mumbai. Novikov was speaking on seminar on ‘Doing Business with Russia’. Specifically in India the Consul General noted that Gujarat and Narendra Modi are friends of Russia.
“The other states where we seek to have business cooperation include Goa and Chattisgarh,” he continues. “We want to have a 20 billion dollar in trade in two years,” he says. Novikov was speaking at an interactive discussion on ‘Doing Business with Russia’ that had been organised by the World Trade Centre, Mumbai and the All India Association of Industries.
Again within the Russian Federation it is the Astrakhan region that has come in for focus. “Astrakhan will be come an important trade hub in the region,” Novikov says.
In a nod to the geopolitical aspects that accompany trade relations nowadays, he says, “ONGC is cooperating with various countries like those in North America, and Kazakhstan for crude supplies.” ” So why not continue that relationship with Russia and the Astrakhan region?”
“We want to showcase the economic potential of the Astrakhan region and the economic potential thereof,” says Konstantin Markelov – Vice Governor - Chairman of Astrakhan Region Government. “We desire economic cooperation he continues.” India and Astrakhan share a long and time tested relationship. While Russia and India do share a strategic relationship, the focus now must be on economic ties, diplomats said.
And the potential is enormous. Though India and Astrakhan are neighbours; relative speaking; trade between the two entities is miniscule. “Astrakhan is interested in attracting investment,” Markelov says. Specifically, they are interested in Smart Drugs.
“We also want to get into the Information Technology sector and we would like to leverage on India’s experience in this sector,” says Markelov. “We will encourage Indian companies to invest in Astrakhan,” says Vijay Kalantri – Vice Chairman – World Trade Centre Mumbai & President – All India Association of Industries.
Thursday, January 10, 2013
By Manik Kumar Malakar
Astrakhan leader extends best wishes to Modi for Lok Sabha elections
Gandhinagar Konstantin Markelov, vice governor of Astrakhan region in Russia which was the first foreign country that Narendra Modi visited as chief minister in 2001, was the only foreign leader at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit to wish the CM the best for “India’s general elections next year”.
Modi had in 2001 signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for co-operation with the governor of Astrakhan, which is barely a tenth of the size of Ahmedabad with a population of just over a million.
In March 2003, a delegation of Astrakhan visited Gujarat and in turn a high-level delegation of Gujarat led by Modi went to Astrakhan in July 2006.
These exchanges had resulted in visits of trade and industries organisations and signing of MoUs in fields of oil and gas, shipbuilding, food industries, pharmaceuticals, fisheries, HRD, culture and education. Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation has signed an MoU with Russia’s Gazprom.
Express news service
Jan 12, 2013