Economy, energy important to strengthen India, Russia ties: PM Modi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said digital economy, energy, start up sectors and infrastructure are four main areas to focus in order to strengthen ties between India and Russia.

Addressing the business leaders, on the sidelines of India-Russia business summit, Prime Minister Modi said, “Energy, digital economy, start up sectors and infrastructure are our focus areas. Our IT companies can explore opportunities in Russia. We see collaboration with Russia for developing nuclear energy. We are committed to shaping a New India and we want everyone to cooperate.

The Prime Minister further said that India has climbed 42 ranks across the world in terms of ease of doing business. “All these changes happen when ground realities are acknowledged with a futuristic vision. Reform, Perform, Transform is our Mantra to bring about changes in various sectors,” he added.

Prime Minister Modi also noted that India is the most open economy in respect to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).”In the past years we have done quite a lot of reforms in the field of FDI. Today, we are the most open economy in terms of FDI. More than 90 per cent of approvals in India are now being given on Automatic Route. The result of this is that our FDI has almost doubled in the last three years,” he said.

Speaking on the India-Russia bilateral trade ties, Prime Minister Modi stated the trade between the two countries has risen to 20 per cent in 2017-18.

He said, “Russia can become our partner in the new and renewable energy sector. The world has changed but the relationship between India and Russia has remained same and the trade between the two countries has risen to 20 per cent in 2017-18.”

The Prime Minister added that to facilitate the entry of Russian firms into India, the country has established ‘Russia Plus’.”India and Russia have been able to remain great friends over decades. Ties between the two countries are at a new high.. We have established a system “Russia plus” to make investment in India easier for Russian companies. ‘Joint Working Group’ is working to strengthen financial cooperation. Business activities between the two countries will increase due to such cooperation,” he said.

Prime Minister Modi also invited Russia to set up a dedicated defence industrial park in India. “We are committed to building a new India. We have to do this as early as possible,” he said.

“Our countries are like friends in the field of nuclear energy. Now we don’t only buy and sell technology. We can also work together for the production of these products in India,” the Prime Minister noted.

Prime Minister Modi further said that Russia is a privileged strategic partner and added, “We (Prime Minister Modi and Russian President Putin) don’t leave a chance to meet each other. The world is changing, but the friendship between India and Russia never changed. Over the previous years, India’s ties with Russia are at a new high.”