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President Vladimir Putin spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as “a big friend” of Russia and said that the impact of his “Make in India” initiative on the nation’s economy has been “truly impressive.”

On Thursday, Putin made these comments at a forum in Moscow that the Russian Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI) was hosting.

“The ‘Make in India’ project was introduced several years ago by our friends in India and our great buddy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The impact it has had on the Indian economy is absolutely amazing. Even if our friends rather than ourselves came up with the idea, it wouldn’t hurt to copy it, the president was reported as saying by RT News.

In his defence of India, Putin said that Moscow must “offer support tools to help our companies market their products more efficiently” in light of the opportunity created by Western sanctions for Russian businesses.

Putin underlined the need to think about “making our products more convenient and functional, with a modern look and properties,” according to the report. He gave Indian leadership credit for developing an effective approach to build local manufacturing capabilities and attract foreign investors.

According to Putin, industrial and product design should be a key tool for the growth of domestic enterprise.

Days after a short-lived violent uprising against him by a gang of Russian mercenaries, this was one of President Putin’s major public appearances.

The biggest significant challenge to Russian President Vladimir Putin in more than two decades of his leadership came on Saturday with the uprising led by Yevgeny Prigozhin and his Wagner gang.

The Security Council Secretary for Russia, Nikolai Patrushev, gave NSA Ajit Doval a briefing on Wednesday on the most recent changes to the nation since the uprising.

The “Make in India” project was introduced by Prime Minister Modi in 2014 with the goal of encouraging businesses to design, produce, and assemble goods in India as well as to stimulate targeted investments in manufacturing.

India, which has the world’s largest population of over 1.4 billion people and the fifth-largest GDP of about USD 3.7 trillion, has recently emerged as a major consumer market for foreign investors as well as a potential alternative location for global companies to licence manufacture their products, according to the report.

According to official data, India’s export performance has increased from roughly USD 468 billion in 2014 to an anticipated USD 770 billion in the 2022–23 fiscal year, it said.

Foreign direct investment into India has also significantly increased, rising from USD 36 billion in 2014 to over USD 81 billion in 2020–21.

In September 2022, Putin and Modi last spoke on the sidelines of a conference of the regional security alliance in Uzbekistan.

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