Setting stage for Modi visit to Kazakhstan

Ahead of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Kazakhstan next month, two senior Kazakh ministers are visiting New Delhi to firm up the agenda for the trip that is expected to upscale energy and business relations between the two countries.

Kazakhstan’s Investment and Development Minister Asset Issekeshev and Energy Minister Vladimir Shkolnik are in New Delhi for delegation-level talks with their Indian counterparts.

Mr Shkolnik is expected to hold inter-governmental commission talks with his Indian counterpart Dharmendra Pradhan to explore ways to enhance cooperation in the energy sector.

Borisbiy Zhangurasov, Executive Chairman of Kaznex, said that at least 20 bilateral pacts worth over $2 billion will be signed during Mr Modi’s maiden visit to the energy-rich Central Asian nation. Besides Kazakhstan, Mr Modi will also be visiting other Central Asian nations, including Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, marking an upswing in India’s Connect Central Asia policy.

Kazakhstan is upbeat about enhanced business and energy ties with India. Kazakhstan is the repository of an array of minerals, including copper, zinc, gold, potash, iron ore and tungsten. India’s National Minerals Development Corporation (NMDC) is scouting for project exploration in the country, especially in iron ore, coal and potash.

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