Participants at 'Russian Davos' curious about India, Modi

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India today figured prominently in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum meeting, dubbed Russian Davos, with participants seeking to know how the economy will do under the new Narendra Modi government that has just been voted to power.

At the plenary session on 'Sustaining Confidence in a World Undergoing Transformation', where Russian President Vladimir Putin was the main speaker, chief executives of multinational firms said there were great expectations from Modi.

Sun Group Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Shiv Vikram Khemka, whose group has a long-standing presence in Russia, said India-Russia trade relations are far from its potential and they need to be reset after Modi victory.

Trade volumes, he said, should go up from $ 10 billion now to $ 100 billion in 30 years.

"This is the time to reset the relations. Mr Narendra Modi has won a landslide victory. The voters have asked for growth and we need help. I think India and Russia need to reconstruct the trade relations and take it from $ 10 billion to $ 100 billion in 30 years," he said.

Patrick Kron, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of French engineering firm Alstom, which has $ 3 billion of investment in India, said there are "great expectations" from Modi to work on economic reforms. "There is lot of potential."

Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Mubadala Development Company of UAE said his group had good relations with Russia and China. "We would like to do it with India also."

"In India, the investment issue is a little more complicated and the climate is also a little more complicated," he said. "We will try to see what we can do in India."

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