Kolkata, Dec 20 (UNI) Russian Consul General Vladimir V Lazarev today blamed the bureaucracy for hampering the growth of bilateral trade between India and Russia here.
''Poor trading between the two countries was the weak point in bilateral relations between Russian Federation and India,'' the Russian diplomat said at a seminar on ''Doing Business with Russia', organised by Engineering Export Promotion Council under Ministry of Commerce.
The seminar was organised held to apprise the country's manufacturers of a trade fair 'Indee' being organised by the Engineering Eexport Promotion Council (EEPC) in collaboration with Petersburg Technical Fair to be held between March 11 and 14 in Petersburg.
Mr Lazarev, however, was optimist about the growth of trade between the two nations within the next three years as India had declared 2008 as the Year of Russia and similarly Russia had de clared as 2009 the Year of India in Russia.
EEPC's (eastern India) chairman R P Sehgal said India and Russia had singed a Comprehensive Economic Agreement (CEPA) in which they agreed to increase the bilateral trade to three-fold from present 3 billion US dollar to 10 billion in the next three years.
He said trading between the two countries was even less than one per cent compared to Germany which is about 14 per cent, China 9 per cent and Japan nearly 6 per cent.
Mr Lazarev said although too much bureaucracy and paper works of both the countries were to be blamed for poor trading, yet India was not coming forward to sign two agreements- repatriation pact and multi-visa system with Russia.
'' We want to sign two agreements- repatriation pact and multi-visa system,'' he said, adding these could only help both the countries to strengthen the bond and further trade growth.
He also admitted that since the Soviet Union broke up in 1991 many things have changed in Russia and most of the businesses owned by the former government were transferred to private parties.
Replying to a question he said his consulate office here had handled 137 million kg of tea exported to his country but now no one can tell how much tea was being shipped to Russia as the trade office in the city had been closed down ten years ago.
Mr Sehgal said Russia was now giving priority for development of small and medium enterprises. The Russia Public Organisation of Small and Medium Size Enterprises has signed an MoU with FICCI to explore synergies in this sector. He hoped this cooperation can span a wide spectrum, such as training, exchange of experts, management, supply of machineries and equipment and even turnkey execution projects.