India considering a representative office in Tatarstan
India is considering the possibility of opening a permanent representative office in the Republic of Tatarstan, said Pankaj Saran, Indian Ambassador to Russia, during a press conference in Tatmedia in Kazan.
“At the moment, we do not have any formal proposal for opening a representative office in Tatarstan,” Ambassador Saran said. “We are entertaining such an idea, but we have not discussed it with the government of the republic. When I return here, we will explore this idea, and then take the next steps. We need clarify the work this representative office will do.”
The presence of a sizeable Indian community (today, about 700 students are studying in Tatarstan) in the republic, the good political, cultural and business relations between our two countries, make it possible to open a representative office, the Ambassador said.
Ambassador Saran also said the Innopolis Economic Zone in Tatarstan might be of interest to Indian investors.
“I was very interested to learn that in this economic zone, the focus is on information and innovative technologies. If we can work together with the leadership of the Innopolis, we can achieve good results and ensure that Indian companies are represented in this economic zone, and their representatives find the needed business partners,” the Ambassador said. Indian companies would be interested in taking advantage of the services and facilities that are available in the Innopolis. “And I am confident that, if we work together, we will be able to actively promote this economic zone among representative offices of Indian companies,” he said.
A day earlier, Saran met with President Rustam Minnikhanov of Tatarstan.
The Tatar President said relations between Russia and India were based on strong traditions of friendship and mutual respect and are developing in the spirit of strategic partnership.
President Minnikhanov recalled that "KAMAZ" Automaker opened its truck assembly plant in India in 2010. Last year, the company was reorganized from a manufacturing company into a research centre.
“At the same time, we have a lot of opportunities for the development of economic cooperation,” Minnikhanov said.
Tatarstan is interested in promoting other manufacturing enterprises which produce ships, gas-pumping equipment, tires, compressors, medical instruments, engineering products and petrochemicals. India, meanwhile, could increase the supply of the goods, including tea, coffee, spices, textiles and so on.
India is one of the world's leading software developers. Minnikhanov said that Tatarstan aims to become Russia's leading centre in terms of IT-technologies. Last year, the first stage of the Kazan innovative satellite town, Innopolis Special Economic Zone, was opened in the republic. Minnikhanov invited Indian companies to visit Innopolis to get familiar with its opportunities.
"Tatarstan and India have great potential for cooperation in the field of agriculture, health, sports, tourism, humanitarian and cultural exchanges. We should continue work in all these areas," Minnikhanov said.
Saran said it was his first trip to Tatarstan as Ambassador of India to Russia.
“Today, India is interested in expanding bilateral cooperation with Tatarstan in many areas. Our country is actively cooperating with the company "KAMAZ" and Kazan Helicopter Plant. I am sure that in the future we will be able to undertake more ambitious projects," Saran said.