Impact of recent events in Ukraine
The recent events in Ukraine widened the gap between US and Russia. There are good number of nations from EU that are supporting Russia’s standpoint with respect to Ukraine. Russia will host International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in next two weeks. This forum discusses the emerging and growth markets across the world. This year, most participants will be the leaders of Russian, Baltic and European nations; however, US may not join because of Putin’s Ukraine policy.
image courtesy: thehindu
All these events, has paved a way for India is to gain access to an alternative economic zone rich in natural resources and wide-ranging market opportunities – Eurasia – mainly in the countries Russia, EU, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. SPIEF is seeing our interest and participation. Over the last few years, there is growing energy partnership between India and Russia. Europe has not yet recovered from its economic crisis. And emerging markets in Eurasia, led by Russia, gives an opportunity to India as a possible alternative to the EU. This region has huge reserves of oil and natural gas, as well as metals and other minerals. Last year, India and Russia decided to cooperate in sectors such as oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure, mining, automobiles, fertilizers and aviation.
India could not come to a trade deal with EU, but it could with Russia
In spite of the conflict in the Ukraine, India has backed Russia. India also started pushing for membership in Eurasia Union (Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan) that provides free movement of goods, services and people in the region.
Meanwhile, there is delay in expansion of trade, even though EU is India’s largest trading partner. Reasons: India wants EU to provide greater market access in services and pharmaceutical sectors, data security for its IT sector and relaxed visa norms for its professionals. The EU, in turn, wants India for reforms in banking and insurance, wines and spirits, intellectual property etc.
While deal with EU is not going well, India should grab the opportunity in Eurasia. It can become a big economic player in the region where Europe and Asia overlap!!