Central Asian states strengthening trade and economic relations with Iran, India

14 January, 2019, 15:13 301
Central Asian states strengthening trade and economic relations with Iran, India

Astana, Tashkent, Bishkek, Dushanbe, Ashgabat, Teheran, and New Delhi are seeking to strengthen the transit and transport potential of the region through connecting the railway routes passing Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and India. 

Samarkand (Uzbekistan) hosted the first meeting of the foreign ministers of the seven countries as part of the “India-Central Asia-Afghanistan” Dialogue, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry informs.

Representatives of the foreign ministries of Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have sat down at the negotiating table.

“President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev always gives special attention to the strengthening of good-neighborly and allied relations with the countries of the region, and the geographical and cultural and historical closeness of the Central Asian countries, the traditional economic ties, the complementarity leaves only one option that is even deeper integration between the Central Asian countries,” said Kazakh Foreign Minister Beibut Suleimenov.

Photo credit: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan 

Atamkulov has underlined the importance of the meeting to bring the Central Asian states closer to India, as well as give impetus to the economic growth of the Central Asian states. The necessity of joint projects with India in medicine, pharmacy, new technologies and finances with the use of the opportunities created in the International Technopark of IT startups “Astana Hub” and the Astana International Financial Centre was underlined. In order to increase the transit and transport potential of the region, it is suggested to create a consortium involving all the Central Asian states with the aim to connect the railway routes Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran and Kazakhstan-Uzbekistan -Turkmenistan-Iran with the Chabahar port to transport cargo through the route Central Asia-India.

The meeting also discussed the economic and cultural and humanitarian cooperation, as well as the facilitation of stabilization and economic development of Afghanistan. The issues to update the mutual trade, expand the direct contacts between business associations, develop the transit and transport and communication potential of the Central Asian states, promote joint initiatives to create international and regional transport corridors, attract investments, innovations and technologies in the Central Asian states from India, including branches of industry, energy, IT, pharmacy and agriculture, and so on were under discussion.

Photo credit: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan 

The meeting resulted in a joint statement of the ministries of foreign affairs of the participating countries, they have outlined the dynamic and productive development of friendly relations and mutually beneficial cooperation between India and the Central Asian countries, confirmed the desire, regional cooperation, mutual support, collaboration to face the current issues to provide security, stability and sustainable development of the region.

The proposal to hold the first ministerial meeting as part of the “India-Central Asia-India” Dialogue was preceded by a number of meeting at the expert level held in 2012. Such an initiative to hold such meetings was put forward by the Indian Council of World Affairs with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of India.