Seeking greater cooperation with India, Russia's Tomsk city in Siberia on Friday invited Indian hi-tech companies to establish innovative ventures in the region.
"Your ONGC Videsh has recently acquired Imperial Energy, which is operating in our region. I want the Indian IT majors and hi-tech to take the cue from it," Tomsk Governor Viktor Kress said on the sidelines of a forum on innovations here.
Kress also expressed regret that due to local elections he could not accompany Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on his India visit in March.
"When your Petroleum Minister Mr Murli Deora was here last year, he invited me to visit India and its world famous innovation centres. This year I will certainly visit India and will invite the Indian companies to this region," he said.
Kress said that in spite of harsh and long Siberian winter, the life is quite comfortable in the region.
Situated 3500 km east of Moscow, Tomsk region is larger than England and Italy and is known as 'an Island of intellect in the ocean of resources', including oil and natural gas. Tomsk city has the population of only five lakh, while the total population of entire region is one million.
"At our innovation and technology exchange centre we are providing land with all the amenities, the Indians just need to come. I will be really happy if a couple of Indian IT majors set up their shops here," Kress said.
He said there are over 400 innovative and IT companies in Tomsk. Local Elecard company is supplying hi-end software to global leaders like Microsoft, Sony and even the White House.
Another Tomsk-based firm Mikran is supplying modules for Indian telecom and defence sectors, including aircraft building. According to Kress, another local company has won the bid to supply some avionics for the fifth generation fighter aircraft being jointly developed by India and Russia.