Monday, November 29, 1999

Indian firms eyeing investment opportunities in Russia: Sharma

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St. Petersburg, June 17 (PTI) Indian industry is eyeing investment opportunities in pharmaceutical sector in Russia, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said. "They (firms) are ready to invest in the Russian pharmaceutical industry, including India-Russia joint ventures. Russia is preparing the list of medicines that it needs, and we are waiting for this list," Sharma said in an interview to Russian news agency RIA Novosti. The USD 20 billion Indian pharma industry is the largest supplier of quality medicines at affordable prices globally. India has already invested in the pharma sector of several European nations including Russia and Romania. Sharma is leading a high-ranking business delegation comprising CII president Hari S Bhartia, DLF chairman K P Singh and Wockhardt managing director Murtaza Khorakiwala among others. During his three-day Russia visit, he will participate in the annual St Petersburg International Economic Forum meeting. He said a protocol on pharmaceutical production would provide a foundation for bilateral cooperation in this sphere. "Currently, the Indian and the Russian governments are working on the protocol. The document will prescribe safety standards for medicines. Recently, we have held talks on this issue. We are eager to sign the document as soon as possible," he said. He further said India has interest in Russia''s mineral resources, metals and fertilisers, while nano and bio-technologies are also important. "We are interested in biotechnologies, nanotechnologies and other sciences such as genomics and bioinformatics because developments in these spheres will make health care more affordable," Sharma said. Meanwhile, an Indian official said Sharma during his meetings with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and other ministers would discuss ways to increase bilateral trade to USD 20 billion by 2015 from USD 7.4 billion in 2009. From Russia, Sharma would travel to Spain, the US, France and UK..

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