OREANDA-NEWS. June 25, 2012. The Union Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textiles Shri Anand Sharma addressed a group of political and business leaders from Russia and India at the third  “India-Russia Business Dialogue” which was held under the umbrella of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2012, Daily Shipping Times reports.

Speaking on the historical bonds between the two nations, Shri Sharma said that India and Russia today share a “special and privileged strategic partnership” which permeates the entire spectrum of economic activity.

Highlighting the fact that the GDP of both the countries is over USD 3 trillion, Shri Sharma further added that the bilateral trade between India and Russia in 2011 was in the range of USD 9 billion. “We have set for ourselves an ambitious target of reaching USD 20 billion by 2015. However, there is a need to diversify the trade basket between our countries as the current profile of trade is dominated by commodities with large imports of iron, steel, fertilizer and oil from Russia. We need to expand the trade basket to have more value added products,” he added.

India is also planning to invest USD 1 trillion in the infrastructure sector alone in the next five years. For this, Shri Sharma welcomed Russian participation to build a strong infrastructure base in India. “We are also building gas and oil pipelines and Russian companies have considerable expertise in pipeline construction technologies which will greatly be valued. In the telecom sector, of course, we have seen the emergence of flourishing partnerships between India and Russia which will see investments of over USD 1.5 billion in the coming years” said Shri Sharma.