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Russia Could Invest Billions of Rupees in Indian Stocks, Infrastructure: Expert

CC BY 2.0 / Sudipto Sarkar / Rupee coins laying on one hundred rupee banknote
Rupee coins laying on one hundred rupee banknote - Sputnik India, 1920, 11.09.2023
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that a majority of trade between India and Russia has been taking place in national currencies, in line with the larger global trend of de-dollarization.
Billions of Indian Rupees (INR) which have been lying with Russian companies could be invested by Moscow in the Indian stock market and infrastructure among other sectors, an Indian economist has suggested to Sputnik India.

“There is an opportunity to invest in the stock market of our country. There may be problems from a regulatory point of view but Russia can make money on the Indian stock market by investing in it and making money from it”, Ashwani Mahajan, chief editor of the Journal of Contemporary Indian Polity and Economy, said in response to a question from Sputnik India during a video bridge featuring Indian and Russian experts on Monday.

The video bridge was organized by Sputnik India a day after the G-20 Summit concluded in New Delhi.
In May, India’s stock market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) allowed the entry of three Russian portfolio investors in the Indian stock market, which was the first time in the history of bilateral economic cooperation.

“Also, from the point of view of infrastructural development, our country needs investment. Many foreign companies want to invest in India. But we don’t want to let some of them into our market. We would be glad if Russia came and invested in India”, remarked Mahajan, who is the co-convenor of Indian economic advocacy group Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM).

The Indian expert also reckoned that Russia could also look at importing a wide array of finished goods from India, including, but not limited to, textiles, electronic equipment, and electronics.

“Many business delegations from India travel to Russia and present our goods. We have many things to offer to Russia. The potential of our interaction is enormous,” Mahajan hoped.

He expressed confidence that the two countries could balance their trade, which further surged to $33.5 billion in the first six months of 2023 as compared to the same period last year.
Sputnik India was the first to report on these trade statistics, based on data from the Indian Commerce Ministry.

In fact, Russia ranked as India’s fourth-largest trading partner in the January-June period this year, thanks to a surge in Russian crude and fertilizer exports.
India’s exports to Russia were worth nearly $1.9 billion in the first six months this year, increasing by around 170 percent. However, the Indian authorities have been raising the issue of “trade imbalance” between the two strategic partners, even as bilateral trade is forecast to rise further.

India, Russia Looking at Ways to Invest INR: Lavrov

The expert suggestions came a day after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Sputnik India in New Delhi that India and Russia were “looking into the possible ways of investing them (surplus INR) in a mutually beneficial way”.
Lavrov underscored that the BRICS member states were actively looking into mechanisms to expand the use of national currencies in respective trade settlements, as agreed at the Johannesburg summit last month.
Lavrov said that New Delhi and Moscow, along with other BRICS members, were also exploring the creation of alternatives to the SWIFT network, which he said that the collective west had been using as its “own instrument”.
Last July, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) approved the opening of special "Vostro" accounts in order to facilitate trade in INR. New Delhi is in talks with nearly two dozen countries to expand trade in national currencies, according to the Indian government.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomes Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov - Sputnik India, 1920, 10.09.2023
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