President Vladimir Putin has called Prime Minister Narendra Modi “a big friend” of Russia and said his ‘Make in India’ campaign has had a “truly impressive effect” on the country’s economy. Putin made these remarks on Thursday at a forum in Moscow organised by Russia’s Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI), reports said.
“Our friends in India and our big friend, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, launched the ‘Make in India’ initiative several years ago. It has had a truly impressive effect on the Indian economy. It would do no harm to emulate what is working well, even if it was not us but our friends who created it,” the president said. Putin made a case for India as he discussed the opportunities for Russian companies due to the West’s sanctions policies, and the need for Moscow to “offer support tools to help our companies market their products more efficiently”.
Crediting Indian leadership for creating an effective model to develop local manufacturing capabilities and woo foreign investors, Putin emphasised the need to think about “making our products more convenient and functional, with a modern look and properties”, the report added. Industrial and product design should become an important resource for the development of domestic business, Putin said.
This was one of the major public appearances of President Putin, days after a Russian mercenary group launched a short-lived armed rebellion against him. The rebellion by Yevgeny Prigozhin and his Wagner group on Saturday marked the most serious challenge to President Putin in more than two decades of his rule. On Wednesday, Russia’s Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev briefed NSA Ajit Doval on the latest developments in the country following the rebellion.
The ‘Make in India’ initiative was launched by Prime Minister Modi in 2014 and aimed to create and encourage companies to develop, manufacture and assemble products made in the country and incentivise dedicated investments into manufacturing, it said. With the largest population of over 1.4 billion people and the 5th largest GDP of around USD 3.7 trillion, India has in recent years emerged not only as an alternative destination for license manufacturing for global companies but also as a massive consumer market for foreign investors, the report said.
India’s export performance has improved, according to official data, from around USD 468 billion in 2014 to an estimated USD 770 billion in the 2022-23 fiscal year, it said. India has also seen a significant increase in foreign direct investment inflows, from USD 36 billion in 2014 to over USD 81 billion in 2020-21. Mr. Putin and Mr. Modi last met on the sidelines of a regional security bloc summit in Uzbekistan in September 2022.