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India seeks investments from Russia & greater market access

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New Delhi (Nov. 5, 2014): India on Wednesday sought greater market access to the Russian market for its products, while inviting investments from that country into areas such as railways and defence so as to boost bilateral trade ties.

"Our intention is to seek greater market penetration and access in at least those sectors in which India has set global standards like pharma, auto, textiles and value-added agri products," Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said here.

"We would like to invite investments from Russia. Come and produce here those goods (for which) you have market available here. Come to India, make it here and sell it to us," she added.

She was speaking at the 8th India-Russia Forum on Trade and Investment organised by industry bodies CII and Ficci.

The Indian government has relaxed foreign direct investment policies in several sectors and has taken several steps to improve business sentiment, Sitharaman said.

"We have relaxed FDI norms for defence, construction and and railways. There is an opportunity for you. It is an invitation from India which is buzzing with economic activity and where labour force is waiting," she said.

Sitharaman said India is aiming to increase contribution of manufacturing sector in GDP from 15 per cent to 25 per cent "for which we need investments".

She asked Russian businessmen to explore opportunities in India "with an open mind and come with clear proposals".

On several ports India has permitted visa on arrival for businessmen, she said, adding, "we are going to have in a very big way single window clearance mechanism for businesses".

Investors would not have to run to different ministries for clearances, she said.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said huge opportunities exists in both the countries to increase trade and investments.

Rogozin appreciated Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Make in India' campaign.

"We are willing to help each other. Huge opportunities are there for MSME sector. We will give personal assistance and help Indian businesses (to invest in Russia)," he said.

The bilateral trade between the countries stood at USD 6 billion in 2013-14.