Astana, Kazakhstan: Prime Minister Narenda Modi today said that Kazakhstan will play a critical role in advancing his vision for India’s relations with Central Asia.
Addressing media persons in the presence of President of Kazakhstan Nursulatn Nazarbayev, Modi drew attention to India’s relationship with Kazakhstan and said we have enormous synergies of markets, resources and skills for a strong bilateral relationship. We discovered remarkable convergence in our economic policies, approaches and strategies in a number of areas.
The Prime Minister said; “We have shared perspectives on many international issues, including regional peace, connectivity and integration; reforms in the United Nations; and, combating terrorism.
Stating that Kazakhstan is India’s biggest economic partner in the region. Modi went on to observe ‘our relations are modest, compared to our potential.” We will work together to take economic ties to a new level,he emphasised.
Kazaksthan, Modi said, was one of the first country with which we launched civil nuclear cooperation through a uranium purchase contract. We are pleased to have a much larger second contract now. We intend to expand cooperation in other minerals, as well. Hydrocarbons is another area of high priority for us. Last evening, we launched the drilling operations for exploration in the first oil field with Indian investments in Kazakhstan.
Stating that he was pleased as President Nazarbayev had responded positively to his request to consider additional mature blocks for Indian investments, Modi said We will also give priority to investment in both directions in manufacturing and infrastructure. I was very encouraged by the interaction at the business roundtable yesterday that I chaired with Prime Minister Massimov, the Prime Minister told the media.
Kazakhstan’s Green Bridge Vision, Modi said, is similar to India’s ambitious plan of adding 175 GW of renewable energy in the next seven years. This is another priority area of cooperation, including in the manufacture of equipment. In adddition, India will participate on a large scale in the Expo 2017 in Astana. We will also enhance cooperation in Space and Information Technology, including their application for governance and development, he announced.
Underscoring the importance of connectivity, Modi said that this issue will be jointly addressed. He further said that the International North South Transport Corridor, the Iran-Turkmenistan-Kazakhstan rail link, India’s interest in joining the Ashkabat Agreement on trade and transit and India’s investment in Chahbahar Port in Iran will strengthen connectivity. The joint study group on India’s proposal for a Free Trade Agreement with Eurasian Economic Union is step towards our closer economic integration, he added.
Development of human resources is a priority for both countries, Modi said and talked talked about the India-Kazakhstan Centre of Excellence in Information & Communication Technologies at the Eurasian National University, which he inaugurated yesterday and said we are pleased to have contributed a super computer from India.
Consistent with our focus on youth, we have launched a new youth exchange programme with six Kazakh universities for the next five years.
Th Prime Minister said that defence and security cooperation is an important dimension of the strategic partnership between both countries. We both want to make it stronger, including in defence manufacturing. We welcome the new Memorandum of Understanding on defence cooperation, he asserted.
President Nazarbayev and I have agreed on the pressing need for reforms of the United Nations and its Security Council, Modi said and thanked him for Kazakhstan’s continued support for India’s candidature for a permanent seat in a reformed United Nation’s Security Council and for a UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. he a