‘India, Kazakhstan made for each other’: Modi puts economic ties in focus

Astana (Kazakhstan): Underlining the need for enhancing  economic engagement with the energy-rich Central Asian nation, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pitched for greater connectivity and energy cooperation between the two countries.

Addressing the business leaders and CEOs of both countries at a business meeting in Kazakh capital Astana, the prime minister stressed on mutual compatibility between the two countries in the economic arena.  “India needs whatever Kazakhstan has, in a way the two nations are made for each other. There is immense potential between the two countries, but in order to further strengthen our economic engagement we need better connectivity,” he said.

Mr Modi, who arrived in Astana on the second leg of his tour to Central Asia and Russia, met Kazakhstan’s Prime Minister Karim Massimov and hailed a slew of  initiatives taken for the country’s progress. He also offered to help its companies through initiatives like “Digital India”.

The Indian business delegation attending the meet comprised representatives from top companies such as BHEL, Essar group, GMR, NASSCOM, Lupin, SUN Group, and Punjab National Bank.

Mr Modi also urged Kazakhstan to engage in developing connectivity from India to Iran to Kazakhstan. Currently, India is building the Chabahar port in Iran, which will provide access to Central Asia and Afghanistan through Pakistan.

In addition, India expressed interest in acquiring oil fields in Kazakhstan and Kazakhstan showed its interest in developing solar plants in India.

Kazakhstan’s national railway company is looking for port-led investment on the west coast of India. It has also invested in India’s infrastructure sector at Mundra port in Gujarat.

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