Trade and financial sanctions imposed on Russia by the US, UK, EU and other countries due to the current conflicts between Russia and Ukraine have opened different avenues for Indian companies in different sectors. “Indian companies are also excited to explore the huge potential for Indian products in Russia,” said Vivek Agarwal, head of the food and drink committee of lobby group TPCI, which is organizing the visit later this month.
A Fieo official said several requests had come from Russia, particularly for groceries, tea and coffee. For example, Russian supermarket chain X5 has approached Indian exporters to buy everything from rice, detergents, tea, coffee, fruit, textiles, soda and beer. In chemicals, demand is higher for industrial chemicals, a segment where China is the largest exporter
Exporters face key challenges – shipping routes, insurance and payment. TPCI’s Agarwal also said there needs to be a relaxation of customs laws and compliance with regulations such as labelling. “As for the payment mechanism, we will strictly follow the government’s guidelines and proposals,” he said.
While acknowledging that the conflict opens up opportunities in Russia, the government has maintained its distance, with officials suggesting deliveries will begin after the war is over. Demand for Indian wheat and corn from other parts of the world has skyrocketed due to sanctions in Russia. Food, pharmaceuticals and oil are among the product categories exempt from the sanctions. An Indian exporter said there are payment options for certain segments that are currently being used. However, more clarity will emerge when the RBI and the government flesh out the plan in consultation with the Russian authorities.
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