Vladivostok, September 13: President Vladimir Putin has praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative and said Russia can emulate the success stories of its partners like India in promoting the growth of its domestic industries.
Putin made these remarks on Tuesday while speaking at the Plenary session of the 8th Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, a major port city in sanctions-hit Russia’s Far East region.
While responding to a question on Russian-made cars, Putin said, “You know, we did not have domestically made cars then, but we do now. It is true that they look more modest than Mercedes or Audi cars, which we bought in vast amounts in the 1990s, but this is not an issue. I think that we should emulate many of our partners, for example, India.”
Prime Minister Modi launched the ‘Make in India’ campaign in 2014 to facilitate investment, foster innovation, enhance skill development, protect intellectual property & build best-in-class manufacturing infrastructure.
The “Make in India” initiative is based on four pillars, which have been identified to give a boost to entrepreneurship in India, not only in manufacturing but also in other sectors.
“They are focused on the manufacture and use of Indian-made vehicles. I think that Prime Minister Modi is doing the right thing in promoting the Make in India programme. He is right,” the Russian leader said.
He further added that it is absolutely fine to use Russian-made automobiles.
“We have (Russian-made) automobiles, and we must use them; this is absolutely fine. This will not lead to any infringements of our WTO obligations, absolutely not. It will concern state purchases. We must create a certain chain regarding what cars different classes of officials can drive so that they will use domestically-made cars.”
Putin also said that the ‘India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor’ (IMEC) will in no way affect Russia in fact it will benefit the country.
The IMEC was launched during the G20 Summit in New Delhi. On Saturday, the ambitious India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) was jointly announced by the leaders of the US, India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, Italy and the European Union on the sidelines of the summit in New Delhi. Putin did not personally attend the G20 summit because of his “busy schedule”.
“I think it is for our good; it will help us develop logistics,” Putin said while responding to a question about if the IMEC initiative will affect the implementation of Russia’s and Chinese projects and what it means for Russia in general.
“First, this project (IMEC) has been discussed for a long time, maybe for the past several years. Truth be told, the Americans joined it at the last minute. But I do not really see why they would want to be part of it, except maybe in terms of some business interest.”
“In the meantime, the additional traffic of goods along this corridor will be in fact an addition to our North–South project. We do not see anything here that could harm us in any way,” he said.
“The North–South corridor goes to the Persian Gulf and then to India. If there is another route, I believe it includes Israel, we will be able to reach the Mediterranean through the Black Sea and use this corridor,” he added.
“I do not know, the colleagues who presented this project need to consider it carefully. This is only a memorandum of intent so far,” he added.
The new economic corridor is seen as an alternative to China’s controversial Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). (PTI)