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First India-Central Asia Dialogue

  • Category
    World Affairs
  • Published
    17th Jan, 2019
  • The first India-Central Asia Dialogue took place in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
  • The dialogue included representatives from five Central Asian countries- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan as well as that of Afghanistan.

Context

  • The first India-Central Asia Dialogue took place in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
  • The dialogue included representatives from five Central Asian countries- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan as well as that of Afghanistan.
  • The dialogue focussed on varied issues including trade, connectivity and security as well as bringing stability by restoring peace in Afghanistan.

About

Highlights of the dialogue

Development Agenda offered by India

  • India offered to extend development partnership to Central Asia as well for enhanced engagement by taking up concrete projects, inter alia, under our Lines of Credit and Buyers’ Credit, and by sharing our expertise.
  • It proposed the setting up of the "India-Central Asia Development Group” to take forward development partnership between India and Central Asian countries.
  • It offered Central Asia Republics to participate in the Chabahar Port project jointly undertaken by India and Iran to move Indian goods to landlocked Afghanistan and potentially to Central Asia.
  • India invited participation from Central Asian countries at the forthcoming Chabahar Day International Conference in Chabahar on 26 February, 2019.
  • It has also put forward several proposals towards enhancing our cultural cooperation and training programmes for capacity building for candidates from Central Asia.
  • India envisages organizing a ‘dialogue on air corridors’ with the participation of civil aviation authorities, air freight and aviation companies of India and Central Asia so that goods, including perishable items, can be transported efficiently and swiftly.

         For Afghanistan

  • India remains firm in its resolve to promote inclusive Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan – controlled peace and reconciliation process and to assist in economic reconstruction of Afghanistan.

       Terrorism

  • India agreed to fight the scourge of terrorism together to promote business development in our region.

      India’s  concern

  • India has been trying to forge closer links with the Central Asian Republics since their emergence as independent countries in the 1990s but the efforts have not yielded results.
  • Bilateral trade with all the five countries is less than $2 billion, with New Delhi blaming the lack of overland access to landlocked Central Asia for this and trying to find alternative routes like through the Chabahar Port to improve commerce.

                                                      Ashghabat Agreement

    • India has supported “multiple options of connectivity in the Central Asian region” by joining the Ashgabat Agreement in 2018 which aims at establishment of an International Transport and Transit Corridor between Iran, Oman, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
    • Ashgabat Agreement envisages facilitation of transit and transportation of goods between Central Asia and the Persian Gulf.
    • Accession to the Agreement would diversify India’s connectivity options with Central Asia and have a positive influence on India’s trade and commercial ties with the region.

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