Vijay C Roy
Chandigarh, October 17
With the exodus of European, American and Japanese companies following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there are many opportunities for Indian companies to invest or increase their export exposure to Russia. According to Indian Ambassador to Russia Pavan Kapoor, Moscow is looking for new partners to fill the void.
India and the Netherlands will soon sign an FTA
- Reenat Sandhu, India’s Ambassador to the Netherlands, said that by next year the two countries would sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
- This will be a game-changer for Indian companies specializing in engineering products, chemicals and electrical products, as they will have access to the European market.
“India regards Russia as a long-time and proven friend who has played an important role in its economic development and security,” Kapoor said. He was in the city to interact with ICN members as well as Heads of Indian Missions in USA, Netherlands, Russia, Turkey, Mongolia and Togo to explore the multitude of opportunities available in Punjab and in other areas of collaboration with these countries.
Endless sanctions by European and American nations have forced several Western companies to withdraw their activities from Russia. Many companies operating in various sectors have closed their operations in Russia. Given this withdrawal, there is an opportunity for Indian companies to fill the void left by Western companies.
The envoy said there are many new opportunities for Indian companies in the Russian market, especially against the backdrop of the withdrawal of many Western companies from the country.
After exporting crude oil at a very competitive price, Russia is starting to become the preferred destination for Indian companies. In 2021-2022, India’s exports to Russia stood at $3.25 billion while imports were $9.87 billion. While during the April-August period of this year, the total two-way trade was $18 billion. Of the total, imports were $17 billion and India’s exports were $1 billion. The huge trade deficit is mainly due to the import of oil from Russia.
For companies based in Punjab, there are opportunities in the food processing sector, mainly fruit and vegetable concentrates, fruit additives, automotive and automobile components, cotton yarn, jute and textiles, packaging and hand tools, etc.
Taranjit Singh Sandhu, India’s Ambassador to the United States, said the US-India relationship will deepen further. Strategic and defense relationships, knowledge and education partnership, energy, health and digital computing are the five areas where there are huge partnership opportunities, he added.
Underscoring the importance of a thriving Indo-Mongolian relationship, Mohinder Pratap Singh, India’s Ambassador to Mongolia, said, “With India’s Act East policy, the relationship with Mongolia plays a vital role in linking India with the countries of North-East Asia”.
Togo is also looking to invest in the country and sees the huge potential in Indian industry.