President’s Indian visit to boost business ties

RIA Novosti / POOL
A two day visit by President Medvedev to India looks set to generate a major boost to trade and business ties with leaders of the two nations looking to double bilateral trade to $20 billion by 2015.

Speaking atpress conference in New Delhi on Tuesday Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh highlighted both the long standing and strong ties between Russia and the emerging Asian economic powerhouse with a $1.3 trillion economy expected to grow at about 9% in 2011.He emphasized that there was still a major upside for Russian and Indian businesses in boosting ties between the two nations.

“There is enormous unexploited potential for the development of our relations particularly in the area of trade and economic affairs.”

As part of the visit AFK Sistema-Hals and India's ONGC Videsh, India's international petroleum company, signed a framework agreement on a potential deal involving Bashneft, RussNeft, and ONGC subsidiary, Imperial Energy, according to a Sistema statement.

"The parties agreed to consider opportunities for a potential transaction involving Sistema's majority stake in JSC Bashneft and 49% stake in RussNeft, each of which owns and operates numerous fields and refining assets, and ONCG Videsh's 100% stake in Imperial Energy Corp.,which owns and operates fields in Russia."

Sistema added the move could see further players brought in and further joint investments.

"The parties further agree to consider joint investments in each other's existing and future exploratory assets in key countries."

President Medvedev’s second visit to India also saw Russian Deputy Prime Minster Sergei Ivanov highlight the potential of further cooperation between the two nations on pharmaceuticals

“Every third medicine in Russia is of Indian origin. We highly appreciate the quality of Indian pharmaceuticals."

He highlighted the potential for joint production of medicines with the signing of 3 cooperation agreements on pharmaceuticals, as India’s Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and Russia’s R-Pharm announced a joint venture and agreement on marketing and technological transfer.

Also part of the visit India’s Reliance Industries signed a petrochemicals agreement with Sibur, and the Tata Group indicated it would be part of the Skolkovo technology park