Indo-Russian Relations
Daily coverage of what makes ties between Delhi & Moscow ever-lasting — even in times of western sanctions.

India Can Become 'Enduring' Food Supplier to Russia: Indian Business Delegation Head

© AP Photo / Anupam NathAn Indian woman laborer plucks tea leaves at a tea garden in Kaziranga, in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018.
An Indian woman laborer plucks tea leaves at a tea garden in Kaziranga, in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. - Sputnik India, 1920, 25.04.2023
India is looking to boost its exports to Russia amid bilateral trade volume hitting an all-time high of $35 billion in 2022-23. Both countries have vowed to further expand trade cooperation and diversify the trade basket.
Russia is hosting a 50-strong Indian business delegation comprising of food and agricultural ’ exporters this week.
Led by the Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO), the Indian delegation will visit Moscow, St Petersburg and Astrakhan during the visit.
Addressing the plenary of the India-Russia B-2-B Meeting on Food and Agri sector in Moscow on Monday, India’s Ambassador to Russia Pavan Kapoor called for increasing food exports to Russia in traditional as well as new sectors.
Sputnik spoke to Nandkishor Kagliwal, an Indian businessman and chairman of Nath Group, who is leading the delegation. Kagliwal is a member of the FIEO Managing Committee.
Sputnik: A 50-person FIEO delegation from the agriculture and food industry is visiting Russia to explore new trading opportunities. Do you think that there is potential for Indian firms to expand their presence in the Russian market, given that some Western firms have withdrawn from Russia?
Kagliwal: Undoubtedly so. Because of the present geopolitical situation, there is bound to be a gap in the supply chain in respect of many critical items. If I limit myself only to agricultural products, I think India does have the potential to become a large provider of a wide range of agricultural products to Russia.
EAM S. Jaishankar meets Russian Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov  - Sputnik India, 1920, 18.04.2023
Business & Economy
India and Russia Vow to ‘Unlock Full Potential’ of Economic Ties
Over the years, as you know, India has made tremendous progress in the field of agriculture. It is either the first or the second largest producer of food grains in the world. It is a big producer of rice, wheat, milk and eggs. It is the largest producer of cotton. It's also the largest producer of millets. Millets are now being termed as a superfood, because they are rich in vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber, and they are also gluten-free. And then, of course, you can talk about pulses (legumes), spices, juices, fruits, vegetables.

It's a whole range of agricultural products. India can emerge as a large and very steady supplier of these products on a long-term and on an enduring basis.

Sputnik: What agri-based products are the most sought-after in the Russian market? Are there new products or brands that the Russian buyers can explore?
Kagliwal: Presently, I think it is rice. Then, of course, followed by some pulses. There are spices as well.
There is also scope for exporting a lot of tea and coffee. These are what we are going to call as basic products.
But, with a fairly well-developed food processing industry in India now, Russia could be a market for Indian juices, aerated drinks, or all types of fancy ready-to-eat products as well as confectionary items.
Sputnik: What advantages does the Russian market offer to Indian exporters as compared to other nations?
Kagliwal: I think one important thing is the unique feeling of friendship which has endured over the years, so we feel comfortable dealing with our counterparts in the Russian industry. That's number one.
In financial terms, the second biggest advantage is the possibility of carrying out the Rupee-Rouble trade. We don't have to go through the hassles of foreign exchange. And, it may be a sheer coincidence, one Rupee is almost equal to a Rouble,
So, an Indian exporter doesn't have to deal with foreign exchange and the Russia industry doesn't have to find US dollars to import goods from India.
A challenge at the moment is the question of logistics, but we will sort that out. There are already major ports being developed to carry out trade between our two countries, including Astrakhan, Chabahar and the route through Armenia.
These initiatives would reduce the logistics’ time and cost to almost a third of what it is today. So, going forward, there could be a logistical advantage, with the transportation time between the two countries reduced to about two weeks.
What are your feelings after the end of the first day of the delegation? How optimistic are you about expanding Indian exports to Russia?
Kagliwal: This is the first day. We had some great conversations. It was attended by high-level dignitaries, including the Indian ambassador to Moscow (Pavan Kapoor). But more importantly, there is an overwhelming response by the business community in these B-2-B meetings.
We are now looking forward to about 120 people from the Russian business community to hold one-on-one meetings with our delegation members. Overall, the response has been very encouraging.
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала