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Indo-Russian trade poised to cross ten billion dollars by 2010

Written by: Staff

Kolkata, Aug 24 (UNI) As the Indo-Russian bileteral trade volume is likely to be more than ten billion dollars by 2010 from three billion dollars at present, a number of private Russian airlines have expressed keen interest to start direct flights in several major Indian cities.

This was informed here today by new Consul General of the Russian Federation in Eastern India Vladimir Lazarev during an interactive session with members of the Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BNCCI).

Stating that the Indo-Russian trade relations had entered into a new chapter following the signing of a number of bilateral agreements between the two governments recently, Mr Lazarev said since this had generated new enthusiasm among the business communities of both the countries, several private airlines of his country, including the largest Trans Air, had evinced keen interest to start direct flights between Moscow and New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata with provision to extend their services to other South Asian countries.

But, unfortunately the talks in this regard were so far in the preliminary stages as they were inquiring the pros and cons of the new air links including their business viabilities, the Russian Consul General said and hoped that 'something concrete would emerge' by this year end.

He, however, ruled out the possibility of resumption of Kolkata- Moscow direct flights by the Russian National carrier "Aeroflot" because of several "complications and technical difficulties at various level".

Referring to the broad areas of new business cooperation between the two countries, Mr Lazarev said major emphasis was being given to extend cooperation in the nuclear energy sector.

'' We have already extended necessary technical collaboration for a proposed nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu," he said but regretted that the West Bengal government was yet to contact them for cooperation for a similar project.

'' We are aware that the West Bengal government is actively considering a nuclear power plant in the state, but we have not been officially communicated about it and for that matter any technical assistance,'' he said replying to a query.

Asked about other areas of business to reach the ten billion dollars mark, Mr Lazarev said it included ferros and non- ferrows metals, pharmaceutical products, heavy machineries and agri-products.

Keeping this in mind both the governments have also decided to open trade council in each other's capital and other major citities this year, the Russain consul General said adding that it has also decided to celebrate 2008 as the year of Russain in India and next year the year of India in Russia to strengthen friendly relations between the two countries.

He said a high level business delegation from Moscow was likely to visit India in November to explore further business opportunities in newer areas. Besides New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore they would visit Kolkata to find more avenues, he said.


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