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    RUSSIA WELCOMES INDIA'S EXTENDED ACCESS FOR FOREIGN CAPITAL

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    MOSCOW, January 21st, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent Sergei Zelentsov) - The decision of the Indian government to extend access for private foreign capital will boost Russian investment in the Indian economy. This is the opinion of Valery Salygin, a prominent Russian expert in the energy policy and diplomacy and a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

    In his words, this decision is essential for Russia as expanding its economic co-operation with India. He named the banking and oil sectors as the major potential spheres of Russian private companies' interest.

    In the estimate of the Russian expert, the decision of the Indian government "seems to be the most radical in the past 12 years." Foreign banks and their subsidiaries can now invest in the Indian private banking sector, and in the oil and gas sphere.

    According to the Russian economic scientist, in the past year private foreign investment in the Indian economy doubled as compared to 2000 to reach $4.6 billion. "The new decision of the Indian government "came as part of the general strategy to make the country one of the most developed nations in the world by 2025," said the Russian expert.

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