Innovation-driven small sector enterprises play a critical role in bridging the gap between Indian and Russian firms

The first ever Indo-Russian Strategic Economic Dialogue -- created by PM Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin in their informal summit – will be held in St Petersburg this July to give a big push to economic partnership that has started to gain momentum since 2017.

The dialogue, from the Indian side, will be led by NITI Aayog CEO Rajiv Kumar and will seek to put in place a mechanism for partnership between resource rich Russian regions and Indian states. Modi met governors of the Russian regions last year and invited them for collaboration.

Far East regions of Russia are seeking active partnership with Indian states as well as investors eyeing options beyond China. The Strategic Economic Dialogue that aims to focus on macro picture of the economic partnership will also explore partnership and joint ventures in services and IT sectors.

Besides, a civil-Industrial complex conference is being explored to look into non-defence Russian investments in India and vice-versa. The dialogue will be preceded by Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu's visit for St Petersburg International Economic Forum. India has already launched a Strategic Economic Dialogue with China.

In an effort to boost bilateral trade to $30 billion by 2025, Russia has urged Indian start-up companies to play the role of catalysts to bring large Indian companies and Russian investors closer. The two governments have agreed to give high priority to the removal of obstacles to trade in order to improve upon the 21.5 percent growth in two-way trade recorded last year, both Indian and Russian officials said.

Innovation-driven small sector enterprises play a critical role in bridging the gap between Indian and Russian firms. India-Russia B2B relations are poised to grow and deepen as the Indian government was committed to providing the required hand-holding to Russian companies through ‘Invest India' – India’s investment promotion wing, said a sectoral expert speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Russian government officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Delhi has moved one step closer to free trade with the customs free Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) after the informal Summit in Sochi. EAEU partnership will complement India’s outreach in SCO. Besides LNG supply beginning from June will expand Indo-Russian energy ties and enable India to move towards a gas-based economy in future.