Need to Explore Untapped Potential – Says Vice Governor of Astrakhan Region

“Russia-India bilateral trade currently stands at over US$ 9 billion. However, India’s share in the global trade of the Astrakhan region stands at a mere 2%. There is ample scope to enhance trade ties with the region. There exists untapped potential in the sectors of pharmaceuticals, defence, radio electronics, textiles, footwear, horticulture, shipbuilding and ship construction. The Government of the Astrakhan region will aid cooperation and support to promote trade ties with India”, said Mr. Konstantin Markelov, Vice Governor-Chairman of Astrakhan Region Government during an interactive discussion on “Doing Business with Russia” organised by MVIRDC World Trade Centre, All India Association of Industries, Russia-India Trade House Mumbai (RITHM) and the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Mumbai on January 8th, 2013. He was accompanied by a high level business delegation from Astrakhan region.


The Astrakhan region offers ease of doing business with stable geo-political situation, low investment risk, low taxation rates and investment friendly laws. Given the cordial business environment of Russia, the Astrakhan region intends to foster greater ties in business, investment and trade with India. The region intends to explore business opportunities in large industries and MSMEs as well, he said.


Enumerating on the bright prospects of Indian business players in Astrakhan, Ms. Elina Polyanskaya, Deputy Chairman of Astrakhan Region Government, Minister of Economic Development of Astrakhan Region Government said we provide preferential treatment to potential investors with special legislative norms, tax subsidies, guarantee funds and state support. The proposed SEZs and free customs zones would provide further impetus to investment.


Mr. Alexey M Mzareulov, Consul/Deputy Consul General of the Russian Federation in Mumbai said that both Russia and India have set a target to realise bilateral trade of US$ 20 billion by 2015. Today’s meeting is a step in that direction. Russia intends to pursue greater regional cooperation with India, he added. The regions of Mumbai, Goa and Chhattisgarh have been identified for this purpose with several projects in the pipeline. Mr. Mzareulov mentioned that the dominant industry in Astrakhan region is the oil sector and there are good possibilities of cooperation in this sector. Referring to India’s major oil company ONGC, he said that ONGC is buying oil from the USA and Canada and should also consider buying oil for Astrakhan.


H.E. Mr. Novikov Alexey, Consul General, Consulate General of the Russian Federation was also present on the occasion.


Earlier, in his welcome address Mr. Vijay Kalantri, Vice-Chairman MVIRDC World Trade Centre and President, All India Association of Industries stressed the need for greater regional cooperation between the two countries. MVIRDC World Trade Centre, All India Association of Industries and Russia-India Trade House Mumbai shall endeavour to realise the goal of achieving the trade target of US$ 20 billion by 2015, he stated.



Mr. Kalantri observed that India can offer pharmaceuticals, chemicals, auto and auto components, engineering items, gems and jewellery and textiles to Russia. Russia on their part can cooperate with India in the areas of pharmaceuticals, textiles, science and technology, defence, chemicals and fertilizers, oil and gas, ship building and space technology. We need greater joint ventures in these areas, he stated. The recent visit of Honourable President of Russia Mr. Vladimir Putin has opened a new era in cooperation between India and Russia, he added.


Elaborating on the role of Russia-India Trade House Mumbai, Mr. Kalantri said that the RITHM will facilitate trade and business activity between the two countries. It will enhance cooperation with workshops, seminars, business networking, exchange of delegations and partnership amongst the Government, SMEs, corporates and PSUs. Mr. Kalantri called upon Indian businessmen to become members of RITHM to avail of these advantages and seek business partners in Russia.

More than 500 B2B meetings happened on the occasion.                                                                                                    

January 9, 2013

Mr. Kamal Morarka, Chairman, World Trade Centre Mumbai felicitating Mr. Konstantin Markelov, Vice Governor, Chairman of Astrakhan Region Government. Looking on (L – R) Mr. Vijay Kalantri, President, All India Association of Industries & Vice Chairman, World Trade Centre Mumbai and  Ms. Elina Polyanskaya, Deputy Chairman & Minister of Economic Development of Astrakhan Region Government at the interactive discussion on “Doing Business with Russia” followed by reception organised by All India Association of Industries and World Trade Centre Mumbai.PHOTO