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Press Statement by External Affairs Minister in Astana during her visit to Kazakhstan

August 03, 2018

H.E. Mr. Kairat Abdrakhmanov
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the
Republic of Kazakhstan,

Members of the media,

सलेमेतसिजदरमे, नमस्कार !


I am happy to be here in this beautiful country of Kazakhstan. I had detailed and fruitful talks with my counterpart His Excellency Mr. Kairat Abdrakhmanov .

We covered the full range of bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest. We took stock of progress in our bilateral relations. India’s relations with Kazakhstan are built on a strong foundation of centuries old historical and cultural ties. Both India and Kazakhstan have developed multifaceted cooperation in all areas of bilateral and multilateral relations and are strategic partners since 2009.

India seeks to consolidate and further strengthen its friendly relations with Kazakhstan. Today, India has emerged as the fastest-growing large economy in the world. It is a global hub for manufacturing and innovation. Under Prime Minister Modi’s leadership, India has launched several flagship programme such as "Make in India”, "Digital India”, "Clean India”, Start up India, 100 Smart cities etc. I shared with Foreign Minister Abdrakhmanov that there are many elements of Digital India program that could be of interest to Kazakhstan for its own Digital Kazakhstan program.

I discussed with Foreign Minister Mr. Abdrakhmanov about our interest to partner with Kazakhstan to explore markets for new products, diversifying from the trade in traditional products to inject fresh impetus to the trade between the two countries.

There is immense potential to be tapped in sectors like agricultural products, food processing, pharmaceuticals, energy and chemicals.

India has keen interest in improving connectivity with this region. In December 2017, India acceded to TIR convention and in February 2018, India joined the Ashgabat Agreement. The International North South Transport Corridor [INSTC] is gaining momentum and the member states are working together to popularize the corridor.

Both the countries have growing cooperation in capacity building. Kazakhstan’s professional and students have been attending courses on scholarships in India every year under ICCR and the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation [ITEC] programme in a wide range of disciplines.

To enhance people to people contact and to promote tourism, India has extended electronic visa system to the nationals of Kazakhstan since February 2018. Thanks to the pro-active leadership of H.E. President Nazarbayev, we already notice many positive changes facilitating travel by Indians to Kazakhstan.

Both Foreign Minister Abdrakhmanov and I expressed our interest to further strengthen our defence cooperation based on solid foundation that we have in place. Our defence and security sector cooperation has intensified in the last two years. Kazakh Armed Forces Unit underwent training on peacekeeping operations in India and presently a mobile training team from the Indian Army is training Kazakh personnel in Almaty.

Yesterday I had interacted with Indian community. Today, after this meeting, I will call on the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan, His Excellency Mr. Bakytzhan Sagintayev. I wish to thank Foreign Minister Mr. Abdrakhmanov for his warm welcome and generous hospitality. I look forward to receiving him in India in the near future.

रखमेत, धन्यवाद !

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