Moscow seeks more trade with Narendra Modi’s home state  — RT India

Moscow seeks more trade with Narendra Modi’s home state  — RT India

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The Russian envoy has held talks with the chief of Gujarat, which contains India’s largest refineries and an upcoming financial hub

Russian Ambassador to India Denis Alipov discussed strengthening cooperation with India’s western state of Gujarat. According to the Russian embassy in New Delhi, during Alipov’s visit to the state capital, Gandhinagar, on Monday he held talks with the state’s chief minister Bhupendra Patel.

The parties explored the potential for expanding ties in key areas, such as trade, industrial production, infrastructure, and education.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Patel noted that Gujarat plays an important role in the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) project, given the state’s 1600-kilometer-long coastline and maritime transportation capacity. INSTC is an upcoming transportation route that India and Russia are developing, along with Iran and other countries in Central Asia, to enable faster movement of goods and cargo.

Patel highlighted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 2003 visit to Astrakhan, a southern port city in Russia, which initiated some strategic partnerships. Astrakhan – which is located at the intersection of Iran, Russia, and Central Asia – holds the key to the smooth functioning of the INSTC corridor and is considered a historical gateway for Indian goods to Russia and Central Asia.

The officials also discussed the cooperation between Gujarat and Russia in the fields of educational research, agriculture, diamond sectors, and trade and commerce, Patel noted. He emphasized the opportunity for Russian institutions to set up an educational research institute in GIFT City (Gujarat International Finance Tec-City), which is being promoted by the Indian government as Asia’s newest financial hub.

The GIFT City, which is being built in the Gandhinagar district in eastern Gujarat, is considered New Delhi’s answer to Singapore and Mauritius as a hub of global start-ups and investments and is one of the flagship projects of Modi, who hails from Gujarat. Modi was also the longest serving chief minister of Gujarat  from 2001 to 2014, before becoming the country’s prime minister.

On Monday, the Economic Times reported that at least three Russian entities have applied for different licenses with GIFT City authorities. The New Development Bank (NDB) of the BRICS countries is also slated to open its Indian branch in GIFT city, the newspaper reported in May.

India’s appetite for Russian oil growing – Kpler

Gujarat has been one of the key destinations of Russia’s investments for over a decade. For instance, India’s first large-scale butyl rubber facility was set up in Jamnagar, on the coast of Gujarat, by Reliance Sibur Elastomers Private Limited (RSEPL), a joint venture between India’s largest conglomerate Reliance and Russia’s integrated petrochemicals company Sibur.

Russia’s Rosneft is the largest shareholder of Nayara Energy, one of India’s largest refineries located in Gujarat. Nayara, formerly known as Essa Oil, was acquired by the Rosneft-led consortium in 2017 for nearly $13 billion. The translation emerged not only as Moscow’s largest investment in the Southeast Asian nation’s economy, but overall India’s largest single foreign direct investment.