CEO team to boost Modi’s business with Russia mission

Modi Russia visit

With India and Russia looking to upscale economic ties and bring it on a par with time-tested strategic partnership, it will be business with capital B during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s December 24-25 trip to Moscow.

As Russia focuses on joint development and manufacturing of aerospace and military systems in India, a high-profile delegation of business honchos is expected to accompany Mr Modi to Russia for his annual summit meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The delegation of CEOs would include most Indian players keen on the aerospace and defence sectors, including Tata, Mahindra, Reliance and the Gurgaon based Sun Group. Indian and Russian officials expect that the CEOs forum will be given high importance during Mr Modi’s Moscow visit, with Russia’s top aerospace companies keen on pitching for the joint manufacturing of components and parts for both civil and military programs in India and forming JV companies.

Preliminary talks have already taken place with Tata on the manufacturing of rudders and directional control systems for the Sukhoi Super Jet (SSJ), a regional jet, confirmed reliable sources.  The talks are already on for specific projects with companies like Tata and Reliance. Indian CEOs from all major companies are expected to accompany the prime pinister, with Sun Group’s CEO Shiv Khemka, whose company has major investments in Russia, likely to play a major role in coordinating the CEOs forum.

Russia is also keen to diversify its relations with India, beyond the military-strategic sectors. “We would like to look at civil cooperation as well. Indian companies can make components for our Sukhoi Super Jet as well as the MC 21 airliner…,” Deptuty Minister Andrey Boginskiy of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade said.

Economic woes

At a time when Russia’s economy is under stress, improving trade and economic ties with India will help in the recovery of the Russian economy. A decline in revenue from oil sales has led to flight of companies from Russia. Many Turkish companies started moving out of Russia, which will create a new potential for Indian companies to fill the space.

Besides the stress created by the US-EU sanctions over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine, the ruble has lost considerable value against the dollar, which has protracted the economic crisis.


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