A visit to Central Asia’s largest country by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken the relationship between India and Kazakhstan to the next level, culminating in an overarching plan to boost bilateral security, economic and energy ties. The two countries signed five agreements, including a pact on enhancing defence and military-technical cooperation. The pact seeks to broaden the scope for bilateral defence cooperation and envisaged a regular exchange of visits between armed forces of both countries, joint military exercises and cooperation in the area of UN peacekeeping forces. A treaty on the transfer of sentenced persons between India and Kazakhstan was also signed.
The discussions between India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbyev in Kazakth capital Astana July 8 focused on upgrading the economic relationship between the two countries. In this context, PM Modi said that India and Kazakhstan are “made for each other” as he pitched for greater involvement of Kazakh enterprises in the ‘Make in India’ mission. The two sides decided to create a Joint Business Council, an important step that would hopefully upscale trade and investment between the two countries. The signing of a business agreement between FICCI and Chamber of Foreign Service of Kazakhstan would help in promoting business linkages between both countries. The two sides acknowledged the setting up of a joint study group between India and Eurasian Economic Union that was established to study the feasibility of a Free Trade Agreement. Infrastructure development will be an important focus area, with the two sides signing a memorandum on technical cooperation in the development of railways.
In a set of steps taken to enhance energy cooperation, the two countries signed a pact for renewal of long term supply of natural uranium to India. The formal commencement of drilling the first exploratory well in the Satpayev block, in which ONGC has stakes, underlines the potential of collaboration in the hydrocarbon sector. Based on a joint feasibility study, the two sides agreed to explore the transportation of oil and gas through pipeline or LNG from Kazakhstan to India.
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