Consul General of the Russian Federation takes part in Chennai Global Economic Summit and Sixth World Tamils Economic Conference

On December 28, O.N.Avdeev, Consul General of the Russian Federation, took part in the inaugural session of the Chennai Global Economic Summit and Sixth World Tamils Economic Conference at the Hotel Le Meridian, Chennai.

This 3-day Forum provided a unique opportunity to bring together Tamils and the Indian community from around the world in order to foster cooperation and tap the vast human and material resources for a collective growth. On this platform distinguished members of the Tamil community discussed the economic development and global cooperation.

In his address at the inaugural session Mr. O.N.Avdeev praised the achievement of the Tamil community in various spheres of economic activities. He also highlighted the Russian assistance in creating industries, notably the Kudankulam nuclear plant, in the state of Tamil Nadu. In view of the decision to re-establish “Vladivostok-Chennai” maritime route the Russian Consul General invited businessmen from the Tamil community to invest into the economic projects in the Far Eastern region of Russia.

The address of the Consul General at the inaugural session

Everyone is aware of the fact that Tamils – are one of the larger ethnic groups in the world. They form a vibrant community whose members are blessed with business acumen and exceptional intellectual and creative abilities. To me this partly explains why the people of Tamil origin boldly travelled across the seas, settled in other, sometimes remote, parts of the world and then excelled in various spheres of life. It is a unique phenomenon in politics of linguistics that their mother tongue has obtained an official status in a number of countries outside India. This fact is also a proof of the influence of the overseas Tamil communities and their contribution to the overall progress of civil society.

The vibrant economy of Tamil Nadu is a vivid testimony to the industrious nature of its residents. The state is widely known as an automotive hub of the country and also hosts other key industries like textile industry, electronics and IT industry as well as aerospace industry. Educational pedigree of Tamil Nadu is also impeccable with 37 Universities and several hundreds of colleges. The state has the second longest coastline in India. With four international and five domestic airports Tamil Nadu is also remarkable for extensive rail, road and sea based connectivity. The ramified infrastructure gives it a distinctive edge. In our judgment there is a sea of investment opportunities in the state and the prospective investors can reap here big dividends.

This forum commendably aims at increasing awareness about numerous opportunities. It also provides a good platform for networking by bringing together policy makers, community leaders, dynamic and distinguished people in various walks of life and from different corners of the world. There is no doubt that the deliberations on the extensive and comprehensive agenda of this conference will be followed by specific initiatives to further pursue this agenda. The conference of this scale is bound to leave a mark.

We would be failing in our duty if we did not mention the Russia-Tamil Nadu connection and the investment opportunities in Russia.

This year the key event in the Russian-Indian relations was a bilateral summit in the city of Vladivostok in the Far East of Russia last September. Russian President V.V.Putin and Prime Minister of India N.Modi took a number of initiatives which have big implications for further progress of bilateral relations. One of the highlights of Indian Prime Minister’s visit to Russia was the signing of MoU on re-establishing a maritime communication between Vladivostok and Chennai to ensure better connectivity between the two countries. The Vladivostok to Chennai sea route is extremely important logistically as a very substantial portion of Russian hydrocarbon exports – oil, petroleum and coal – is sent to India from the Far Eastern region of Russia.

For Indian companies there exists a big opportunity to tap the region’s vast natural resources. India is already a major coal importer from Russia. Indian companies were invited to join other projects such as Far Eastern LNG and Arctic LNG-2. The Government of India has extended a $1 billion line of credit in order to help Indian businesspeople set up shop in the region, which is vitally rich in trade potential. Now India has got the first mover’s advantage in the Far East of Russia where Indian businessmen are most welcome.

And, of course, in the context of Tamil Nadu it is impossible to pass over the gigantic multibillion project of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant, which is currently being implemented in Tamil Nadu and is rightly the flagship of Russia-India cooperation in civil nuclear energy.