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Russia woos Indian investors to make investments in Far East

Russia woos Indian investors to make investments in Far East

Russia woos Indian investors to make investments in Far East
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By CNBC-TV18 Sept 7, 2019 9:12:31 PM IST (Published)

Russia on Friday exhorted Indian investors to make investments in the Far East as it has an investor-friendly climate coupled with the preferential tax regime and government-supported measures

Russia on Friday exhorted Indian investors to make investments in the Far East as it has an investor-friendly climate coupled with the preferential tax regime and government-supported measures

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In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Roman Babushkin, Russian deputy chief of mission and Russian deputy chief of mission on Narendra Modi's visit to Russia, said, "Energy imports from Russia is something which is very promising. It is becoming a stronger pillar of our special and privileged strategic partnership."
Edited excerpts
Q: How significant are these discussions on the Far East and what are the areas of cooperation going forward?
A: It is not only paying attention, but the Russian Indian 20th Jubilee Summit is also worth following the developments as it has got incredible outcomes, which go far beyond expectations. For the fifth time, Eastern Economic Forum gathered heads of states and governments of the leading regional nations, altogether more than 8,500 participants from 65 countries were in Vladivostok. It comes in line with the implementation of the Russian program aimed to ensure maximum openness of the Far East and its integration into economic, social infrastructure, education and humanitarian space of the whole region.
Exceptional steps have been taken to improve Far Eastern investment climate including special conditions for industries, special and preferential tax regime and government-supported measures. It is already there and that would definitely be very attractive for the Indian community, business people and for the investments. Vladivostok is enjoying the regime of the free port and by 2024, we plan to reconstruct about 40 airports in the whole region of the Far East. During the recent five years, the Far Eastern economy growth reached 23 percent. This is 3-5 times higher than for the rest of the country.
Q: India is looking to step-up oil and gas and energy imports from Russia. To what extent is this likely to go in the days to come?
A: Energy imports from Russia is something which is very promising. It is becoming a stronger pillar of our special and privileged strategic partnership. Let me put it in a way that this is a reflection of the synergy of the original policies of Russia and India. Now, they are becoming more combined. Act Far East policy announced by Prime Minister Modi and the priority which is given by President Vladimir Putin to the development of Far East of Russia is a clear demonstration of how great the synergy is between the two countries.
It would be easier to name sectors in energy where our two countries don’t cooperate. It includes nuclear power, hydrocarbons, thermal, hydro and renewable energy. So, we have a very successful history of two decades, jointly developing in Russia.
So a number of joint projects, which are currently discussed and implemented in a very successful way, they are also mentioned in the joint statement. Among new areas are cooking coal supplies and expansion of joint development of energy fuels. So, long-term agreement on the oil supplies is also on the agenda.
Gas fuel, it is a very promising area. So, it takes not only the industry of gas fuel production, but it takes also infrastructure and services. It is discussed in bilateral and multilateral formats. So, to the best of my knowledge, we are also planning to include this topic in the BRICS agenda, including the framework of the BRICS research preparation platform proposed by Russia.
Q: On the military-technical cooperation, how important is this memorandum of understanding (MoU) on joint manufacturing of spare parts for military equipment?
A: We can call it as a breakthrough achievement of the summit in Vladivostok. As we are talking about joint production of spare parts and relevant services both in Russia and India, if we consider the fact that about 70 percent of the military equipment in India was provided by the erstwhile Soviet Union and then Russia. So, you can imagine the number of opportunities, which is offered by this agreement. Moreover, we do not exclude coproduction - products to be supplied to the third countries as well.
Q: Finally, what about the Kamov helicopters deal and further defence deals that may be in the pipeline?
A: Both the leaders have discussed in detail all the ongoing and currently implemented contracts. First, they showed satisfaction at the level of our preparation, which we currently enjoy. Then they gave clear instructions to the governments to go ahead with the implementation of these deals.
So, altogether amounting exceeding $1.5 billion as far as Kamov helicopters are concerned. So, it is about to finalise parameters of its implementation and we will go ahead of the production of 200 helicopters. So 60 will be produced in Russia and 140 will be produced in India with the localisation rate exceeding 80 percent.
These are advanced helicopters, which can be used in various weather conditions including windy weather, including hills areas and it can be easily modified for multi-purposes, not only military but also transport, emergencies, also medical, this is a unique machine.
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