Indo-Russian Relations
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Rupee-Ruble Trade is Way Out of Western Blockade: Russian Industry Chamber Head

CC BY 2.0 / Harsh Agrawal / Indian rupee
Indian rupee  - Sputnik India, 1920, 05.04.2023
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation (RF CCI) is leading one of the biggest business delegations Russia has ever sent to India.
In a bid to boost and diversify economic cooperation between New Delhi and Moscow, a Russian business delegation comprising 120 entrepreneurs who represent 30 regions of Russia is visiting India between 3 and 7 April.
More than 400 Indian entrepreneurs are scheduled to take part in meetings with the visiting Russian business delegates. Peak trade organization the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) is coordinating the business-to-business (B-2-B) meetings from the Indian side.
A statement emphasized that boosting international cooperation, supporting Russian companies which want to enter the Indian market, and looking for alternative suppliers of goods and services rank as the priorities of the business delegation.
Sputnik spoke to Sergey Katyrin, the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation (RF CCI), who is leading the Russian delegation.
© SputnikSergey Katyrin, the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation (RF CCI)
Sergey Katyrin, the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation (RF CCI) - Sputnik India, 1920, 05.04.2023
Sergey Katyrin, the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation (RF CCI)
Sputnik: Over the past year, we have seen a significant increase in Russian energy exports to India. In your opinion, what are some other promising areas of economic cooperation between the two countries? How can Russia and India diversify their trade relations?
Katyrin: I assume that our delegation, which includes 120 people, is the largest ever business delegation from Russia in recent years
Going by the number of Indian companies participating in the meetings, there seems to be huge interest here in India as far as boosting economic relations are concerned. We are trying to know more about each other during these meetings. There may be sectors of the economy which may not have been represented in this delegation. So, there is enormous potential for growth in trade ties.
I think our Indian colleagues know that agriculture is developing quite rapidly and successfully in Russia. Food is one of the main exports of the Russian Federation. In terms of volume, it is already much larger than the military component. I am not talking about India in particular, but about Russia’s overall food exports. So, there are great prospects here.
Today, a huge niche has been created in Russia. Many Western companies have left. This presents an opportunity to use one's strength and invest in different industries.
Sakhalin-1 gas and oil project - Sputnik India, 1920, 30.03.2023
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There are also a lot of opportunities in the automotive industry. We also have opportunities for collaboration in the pharmaceutical sector, where India is particularly strong. There are opportunities in Russia today which may not have existed in the Russian market previously. These could be of enormous interest to Indian companies.
It also applies to other sectors, including pharmaceuticals, where India is strong. So there are opportunities today that may not have existed in the Russian market before that could be of interest to Indian companies.
Sputnik: Russia and India have begun to look for an alternative to the US Dollar in trade and investment. What could this development mean for Russian and Indian businesses?
Katyrin: I think this is a solution to a number of problems because it has become quite complicated to trade in US dollars and euros.

Russian banks have been cut off from opportunities in this regard, and Indian banks face the threat of secondary sanctions. We don't want our Indian colleagues to face these sanctions either.

That’s exactly why the Ruble-Rupee trade settlement mechanism presents an optimal opportunity for both Russia and India. We would be able to circumvent the sanctions and carry out our trade with each other in an active manner. So, it seems to me that this is the way out of this situation.
Sputnik: The business mission you are leading is aimed at strengthening cooperation between regional small and medium-sized enterprises in both Russia and India. Why is it crucial to establish contact between small and medium-sized businesses in India and Russia?
Katyrin: Large companies such as Gazprom, Lukoil and others are more or less capable enough, in terms of finances, administration and human resources, to manage their own affairs. They don’t need much help from the state in day-to-day affairs.
For small and medium-sized enterprises, they need someone to help them. They need someone to help them enter this market, to help them be successful there, and to enter foreign partnerships.

That is what the Chamber of Commerce and Industry is for - to help them. The whole idea is to give small and medium-sized enterprises a chance to develop.

Given our mutual interest in further developing trade relations and promoting small and medium-sized companies, I am confident that we will succeed.
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