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Sharma sought regulatory simplifications for Indian companies who not only want to have market access.
A high level delegation of 120 Indian business leaders led by Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Shri Anand Sharma discussed various business opportunities with their Russian counterparts at India-Russia Trade and Investment Forum at St. Petersburg on Friday. Special focus was on the three round tables on “Pharmaceutical and Medical Industry”, “Tourism and Medical Tourism” and “Trade in goods, services and innovative products”. On his return to India yesterday, Sharma said “we discussed and noted the emerging opportunities in both the countries and we are hopeful that the three Round Tables have identified in detail the specific projects where we shall be cooperating.”
At the forum Pharmaceutical sector received major attention as India is looking at the opportunities that the 2020 Pharma programme offers. Sharma sought regulatory simplifications for Indian companies who not only want to have market access but also look for establishing manufacturing base in Russia. In recently concluded 19th India Russia Working Group on Trade and Economic Cooperation (IRWGTEC) meeting in Moscow Indian side had conveyed the details of barriers in the trade of pharmaceutical products to Russia. These barriers included substantial delay in all approvals and dossier evaluation due to insufficient number of competent specialists, huge number of backlog of dossiers accumulated by the Russian health authorities, lack of information about stage of approval etc. All this leads to avoidable delay in supplies, commencement of production, and launch of new product in the market. Shri Sharma said that “as Indian pharma companies are keen to establish manufacturing bases in Russia, it is imperative that Russian government should address their concerns in an expeditious manner.”
Fertilizer sector has also attracted Indian interest for setting up manufacturing in Russia. Production of Phosphate and Potash in Russia by way of JV with Indian Fertilizer entities was discussed. There exist complimentarity between availability of fertilizer resources in Russia and growing fertilizer demand in India which should result in strategic partnership in this field. AKRON and ORGSINTEZ, the two Russian companies are in discussion with IFFCO as they have Potassic and Phosphatic resources. Both side discussed the need to support the proposal of M/s AKRON of Russia for setting up of facilities for production of Phosphate and Potash in Russia by way of JV with Indian Fertilizer entities. Furthermore, In January 2013, Secretary (Fertilizer) met the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade and Russian fertilizer companies to explain new investment policy changes in urea production in India and invite them to invest in India under the new policy. A non-paper was also shared with the Russian side. During this visit Shri Sharma was informed of Russian companies expressing interest in the proposition and companies on both sides are expected to identify opportunities for investment in urea production in India.
The Forum in its 7th edition with specific purpose of ‘encouraging discussion among the businesses of the two sides to increase economic engagement for common benefits’ concluded that fresh initiatives need to be taken to further exploit complementarities in other sectors such as fertilizers, industrial machinery, diamonds etc. Other new areas such as automobiles, electrical equipment, chemicals, mining and processed foods need to be explored as they have immense potential in both countries. Another area identified for focused approach between India and Russia is IT Services. This conclusion is an endorsement of the sector that have been identified in Joint Understanding & Intention on Possible Plans and Priority Investment Projects for Enhancing Indo-Russian Economic & Investment Cooperation Under which a total of 15 high value, high tech projects have been selected for special attention for ministerial supervision. Some of the projects are
• The establishment of India-Russian Joint venture with “Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.” (HAL) as joint centre of development the helicopters.
• Production of Nitrogen Tetra Oxide for Space programme
• Possible future cooperation between MMTC and ALROSA for long term supply of rough diamonds
• ONGC Videsh Ltd. (OVL)’s prospects for further hydrocarbon collaboration with Russian energy companies
• Joint project of Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited (RLL) and Government of Yaroslavl region
• Participation of Russian companies in urea production in India under new investment policy.
• Plant construction for manufacturing butyl rubber with capacity of 100000 tons per year at the production site of “Reliance Industries” in Jamnagar (India).
Shri Sharma also met Mr. Alksey Ulyukaev, Minister of Economic Development and took forward the discussion that he had with Mr. Dmitry Rogozin, Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Denis Manturov, Minister of Industry and Trade a day before. This visit assumes significance as the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh is likely to visit Russia next month.