The fine threads of mutual trust, economic complementarities and political goodwill, history and culture linkages have cemented the relationship between India and CIS countries. This has stood the test of time while enjoying the support of people from both the regions.
India has made significant investments in the CIS region, ranging from Central Asian economies to the Russian Far East. Significant investments in the energy sector and natural resources such as diamonds and gold are successful examples of Indian investments in the CIS region.
Many CIS economies strive to overcome the difficulty in seamless connectivity for goods trade, investment linkages, and commercial relationships with India. Resources aplenty, ranging from agricultural output to undeveloped oil and gas deposits, the CIS region demands India’s immediate attention to cooperatively collaborate for economic success.
Because of their strategic location at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, CIS economies may play a key role in advancing commercial interests in energy and natural resources. Land and air connectivity can help India improve its collaboration and development relationships with the area.
Air Connectivity (Building a ‘Silk Route’ in the sky) and Digital Connectivity (Bridging the digital divide) are the ‘New Architectures’ for connectivity. Economic corridors can help diversify the region’s industries and make them more competitive globally through technology, logistics and other business support services. India has invested in a variety of such national and cross-border infrastructure projects in collaboration with its neighbours.
The development of new ‘Silk Routes’ will benefit our economy enormously. With their untapped natural wealth and resources, the CIS economies entice Indian industry like never. Even as International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) ushers in a new era of multimodal land-sea routes to CIS countries, air-connectivity agreements may bode well for the budding airline industry.
The CIS session at FICCI LEADS 2021 aims to examine a leadership vision between India and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), with the goal of creating a ‘development corridor’ between our respective business communities. The future of our commercial interactions, fuelled by connectivity initiatives, will also aid in the sustainable exploitation of natural resources.
Not only will connectivity infrastructure improve economic cooperation between India and the CIS, but it will also bring our people closer to each other.
The author is Secretary General, FICCI
**This blog is a part of the ‘FICCI LEADS 2021: Reimagine the World’ series.