Millennium Post

India, Russia to form JVs to build aircraft, cars

India and Russia have agreed to set up joint ventures for manufacturing aircraft and automobiles as the two nations look to boost trade and economic ties.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, after summit talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, said Russian-Indian economic cooperation is returning to a growth trajectory.

"We both have a stake in consolidating this positive trend," he said. "Our talks are always held in a warm and friendly atmosphere, and are always substantive and productive. This time was no exception."

Putin said agreements made in the St Petersburg Declaration outlines steps to further deepen bilateral cooperation in the political, economic and cultural spheres.

"Encouraging the growth of trade, improving its structure, and expanding industrial cooperation constitute our key priority," he said.

Bilateral trade, he said, was declining in recent years but has reversed this year. It rose by 29 per cent in the first quarter of 2017.

"As of today the sides have agreed a list of 19 projects aimed at establishing joint ventures for transport infrastructure, new technology, including pharmaceuticals, aircraft and automobile manufacturing, the diamond industry, and agriculture," he said without giving details.

After summit talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of an agreement on intellectual property, a master framework agreement on building two units at the Kudankulam nuclear power plant, a programme of bilateral cultural exchanges for 2017 2019, an agreement on a feasibility study for a high- speed link between Nagpur and Secunderabad, and a memorandum on cooperation between joint stock company ALROSA and India's Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council.

Also signed were documents on building Russian-designed nuclear power plants at new sites in India, developing a bilateral leasing platform, developing bilateral investment activity, and developing rail transport vehicles.

Russia's cumulative investment in the Indian economy exceeded $4 billion, and Indian investment in Russia is $8 billion.

"All these facts show that Russian-Indian economic cooperation is returning to a growth trajectory, and we both have a stake in consolidating this positive trend," Putin said.

Putin said the cooperation is not limited to direct supplies of the latest Russian military equipment to India.

"The assembly of high-tech military products has been set up in India with Russia s participation. We agreed with the Prime Minister to continue to jointly develop and manufacture modern weapons systems."

At the CEO forum that immediately followed the Summit discussions, Putin said over the past seven decades, first the Soviet Union and then Russia built steel works, power stations, chemicals plants, gas pipelines, agribusiness facilities, and transport infrastructure in India.

"We in Russia are proud of this capital we have developed together," he said.

He said it was important to move from simply trading goods to more sophisticated forms of cooperation. "We invite our partners to localise production in Russia. We know Prime Minister Modi's idea regarding projects in India in areas where we can support each other and exchange modern technology. We can do this on a bilateral basis, of course, in areas where we are competitive at the global level."

Businessmen of the two nations can create new, high value-added products and build production chains, including for promoting their goods and services on third country markets, he said.

"On the agenda we have the launch of promising joint projects in fundamental areas for the economy and high-tech sectors such as nuclear energy, the aerospace sector, and biotechnology. We need to look to the future, and the future is about harnessing the common powerful scientific and technical potential of both countries."

Russia's market, he said, today offers every opportunity for carrying out the boldest business initiatives.

"We continue to improve our investment and business mechanisms, including with respect to foreign companies and citizens. We will use modern market instruments to stimulate growth in the high-tech sectors."

Units 5, 6 at Kudankulam nuclear power plant to cost 50,000 crore

The fifth and the sixth unit of India's largest nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu will cost about Rs 50,000 crore to build with half of it being funded by Russia as loan.

The project will take seven years to start generating electricity, Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) Chairman and Managing Director S K Sharma told PTI here. India and Russia on Thursday signed an agreement for the two new reactors for the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) on the sidelines of the annual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"The entire project will cost about Rs 50,000 crore. The first unit will be commissioned in 66 months and the second six months thereafter," Sharma said. Atomstroyexport, a unit of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, will build the reactors.

"The project will be funded in 70:30 debt-equity ratio (70 per cent debt, 30 per cent equity)," he said. The Russian government will lend India $4.2 billion to help cover the construction cost. Sharma said the equity portion of project will either come from NPCIL's own resources or from government. At the agreement signing ceremony on Thursday, Russian President Putin said the first unit of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant was put into operation.

"The most reliable, latest Russian technology was used in its construction. The plant s second unit has also started to generate electricity.

"At a joint teleconference in October 2016 with Narendra Modi we launched the construction of the plant s third and fourth units. And we reaffirmed our intention to build in India at least 12 Russian-designed energy units, which will make a large contribution to the development of India's nuclear industry," he said.

The KKNPP was the outcome of an inter-governmental agreement between the erstwhile Soviet Union and India in 1988. It is the single largest nuclear power station in India.

The power station was envisaged to have six units with total capacity to generate 6,000 MW of electricity (1,000 MW each).

Construction on the plant began on March 31, 2002 and Unit 1 was synchronised with the southern power grid in October 2013. The second unit started generating electricity in August last year.

Govt to set up dedicated cell to attract Russian investment

The government said a dedicated cell would be set up within 'Invest India' to attract Russian investment in India. Addressing the 'India Russia Business Dialogue' Industry Secretary Ramesh Abhishek said the cell would provide hand- holding services to Russian companies who wish to enter India. Abhishek said there are investment opportunities for Russian companies in sectors such as manufacturing, including defence, shipbuilding, infrastructure development and smart cities.

"A dedicated cell would be set up within Invest India to promote Russian investment in India," Abhishek said. India has undertaken several reforms that have helped make India a more attractive place to do business.

These include reforms such as the introduction of GST, the new Bankruptcy Code, among others. Invest India is the official investment promotion and facilitation agency set up by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion. It is mandated to facilitate investments into India and acts as the first point of reference for potential investors.
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