Its Time to Tighten Ties – Part 5

India and Russia partnership in Mining

If there was an all-weather friend and partner who has stood by Independent India in all these decades since India became a nation, it is surely the receptive Russlans to it’s right! Russia and India’s ties are as strong and old as is the country India. The Old friends have been actively partnering across all areas like defence and security, education and trade. Both are part of the BRICS group and Russia’s economy has made huge strides forward  in the last few years and it’s partnership with India has economic growth of both the countries as it’s central objective. In fact Prime minister Modi and President Putin have jointly agreed on a bilateral trade target of $ 30 Bn to be achieved by 2025. India has set up a dedicated desk to promote Russian investments. The initiative is called Russia Plus and is aimed to give a fillip to the economic co-operation between the two countries. And ‘metals and minerals’ are one of the key catalyst identified to boost trade.

How is the Russian mining industry poised?

Russia is one of the largest producers of Mining commodities in the world. It is a leading producer of Bauxite, Copper, diamond, gold, iron ore, lead, nickel, PGM, Potassium, silver, and  Uranium. Russia is the largest producer of Diamonds, Palladium and the second largest producer of Platinum and Nickel. Mining contributes 3-5 % of the Country’s economy and more than 16 % of exports. Business Monitor International has forecasted that Russian coal output will touch 428 million tonne in 2020. Russian mining companies are on the verge of developing new deposits and many deposits are yet to be discovered and developed.

 A mining partnership between India and Russia.

Russian Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. Denis Manturov on the sidelines of bilateral talks that happened in Bangalore last year told Media that Russia is ready to bring in its technological expertise to boost manufacturing and develop Indian economy. Russian companies specializing in the mining of Gold and diamonds will partner with India to boost Gold production here he said. India is the second biggest consumer of Gold in the world and hence Russia’s expertise in production and India’s demand for Gold will be a perfect fit. When our Trade minister Suresh Prabhu attended the International economic forum in St Petersburg two years back he had mentioned that India is seeking rights to mine for gold and diamond in Russia’s far east region. India is also looking to import gold from Russia and export the Gold after value addition. And this year true to their word, India, and Russia have stepped up their engagement in mining. India has escaped its efforts to grab major stakes in Russian mining companies. Indian interest also extends beyond Gold to Coal and iron ore.

In the words of Mr. Modi, “ India gives top priority to its relations with Russia”. India and Russia are both committed to strengthening and deepening their co-operation in mining to achieve the level of progress that the two countries are individually and collectively striving for. Perhaps the popular saying “ Get new friends but keep the old. One is silver, the other is Gold” applies perfectly to India’s relationship with Russia. Partnership with Russia means ‘Gold’ for India both literally and figuratively.

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