India, Russia target $20 bn trade by 2015

June 21st, 2012 - 8:20 pm ICT by IANS  

St. Petersburg, June 21 (IANS) India and Russia have set a target to increase bilateral trade to $20 billion by 2015 from around $9 billion in 2011, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said Thursday.

Addressing a group of political and business leaders from Russia and India at the third “India-Russia Business Dialogue” held under the umbrella of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2012 here, Sharma said the two countries target to more than double the bilateral trade over the next five years.

“We have set for ourselves an ambitious target of reaching $20 billion bilateral trade by 2015,” Sharma said.

Bilateral trade between India and Russia was nearly $9 billion in 2011.

Sharma emphasised on the need for diversifying trade basket, saying it would help boost two-way trade.

“There is a need to diversify the trade basket between our countries as the current profile of trade is dominated by commodities with large imports of iron, steel, fertiliser and oil from Russia. We need to expand the trade basket to have more value added products,” he said.

The minister also emphasised on the need for boosting two-way investments and urged Russian entrepreneurs to increase investments in India, especially in infrastructure sector.

He said India targets to invest $1 trillion in infrastructure sector over the next five years and would welcome Russian participation in building strong infrastructure base.

“We are also building gas and oil pipelines and Russian companies have considerable expertise in pipeline construction technologies which will greatly be valued. In the telecom sector, of course, we have seen the emergence of flourishing partnerships between India and Russia which will see investments of over $1.5 billion in the coming years,” Sharma said.

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