On January 30, 2016, two St. Petersburg International Economic Forum panel sessions on bilateral relations between Russia and India took place in New Delhi: “Fulfilling the Indian–Russian economic promise” and “BRICS growth agenda: investment hot spots in Russia”. It was the first time that SPIEF sessions had been held at The Global Business Summit. Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi greeted the members of the Russian delegation in person. The delegation consisted of Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister of the Republic of Mordovia Vladimir Mazov, and Minister of Economic Development of the Republic of Bashkortostan Sergey Novikov.
The panel discussions were organized by the Roscongress Foundation and the Times of India media group. The first panel session, entitled “Fulfilling the Indian–Russian economic promise,” focused on issues related to developing and broadening economic ties, as well as collaboration in energy, health care, IT, and environmental protection. Taking part in the debate were Corporate Director of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives Marina Korotaeva; Vice-President of AFK Sistema Andrey Terebenin; Vice-President of SUN Group Shiv Vikram Khemka; CEO of Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited Praveer Sinha; Vice-President of Inspur Technologies India Verinder Aggarwal; and Chairperson of New Delhi’s Institute of Social Sciences, George Matthew. Presiding over the discussion was Founder and Managing Editor of Frontier Funds, Gavin Serkin.
“Our cooperation has made advances in healthcare, education and pharmaceuticals. Ties between universities should be built too: India must have more centres for Russian studies,” observed George Matthew, Chairperson of the Institute of Social Sciences in New Delhi.
During the session entitled “BRICS growth agenda: investment hot spots in Russia,” organized in conjunction with the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI), there were presentations about projects in the republics of Bashkortostan and Mordovia, the Kostroma and Penza regions, and the Russian Far East.
Commenting on the outcome of the event, Anton Kobyakov, Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation and Executive Secretary of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum Organizing Committee, said that the meetings were held in an impressive, business-like way. “The event was certainly a constructive one. Participants discussed the prospects for bilateral cooperation between our countries, and the practical plans for an expansion of our economic ties,” said Anton Kobyakov. “In particular, we touched upon issues related to the holding of the upcoming 20th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Some useful proposals were put forward, including those related to the preparation of the programme for the Forum.”
After the panel events in New Delhi, a Memorandum of Cooperation between the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, and the Eastern Economic Forum (represented by the Roscongress Foundation) was signed. SPIEF and the CII have been working together since 2012. The document was signed with a view to increasing mutually beneficial cooperation in the field of promoting and organizing major congresses and exhibitions of international scope.