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Putin is our good friend: PM
Sheela Bhatt in Moscow | December 05, 2005 20:13 IST
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in Moscow on a three-day visit, will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday for bilateral talks. This will be the leaders' fourth meeting in the past 18 months.
In an interview to Itar-Tass, the official Russian news agency, Dr Singh said, "We consider President Putin to be a great friend of India's."
Dr Singh has, on his visit, spared time to take part in closer interaction of businessmen from both sides. A high level 14-member Indian industry delegation is currently in Moscow coinciding with his visit.
The delegation includes Y C Deveshwar, the president of CII, O S Kanwar, N Srinivasan, director general of CII, Dr Amit Mitra, secretary general of FICCI and CEOs from Ranbaxy, Larsen & Toubro, SUN Group, Srei International, Modi Enterprises, Wockhardt Ltd, NRC Ltd, Shreya Life Sciences Pvt Ltd.
They are aiming for achieving a target of $ 5 billion of bilateral business by 2008-2010. In their meeting with Dr Singh, they said they are finding it diffuclt to get Russian visas and that flight connectivity between India and Russia is not frequent enough.
They also added that financial base for business is quite weak in Russia. Further, there is lack of information regarding each other's business opportunities, they said.
Navtej Sarna, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson, said, "Dr Singh has invited Russian businessmen to visit India and acquaint themselves with dynamic changes taking place in the country."
The CII has suggested a Russia Fiesta, which willl be a combined consumer trade fair with cultural, fashion and food components in order to project a positive image of Russian industry and culture in India. The trade body will also organise a 'Made in India' trade show in Russia.