India and Kazakhstan have inked a Strategic Partnership treaty in 2009, and a Defence and Military Technical cooperation 2015. The two countries have several projects in hydrocarbon, education, pharmaceutical and other sectors.
India-Kazakhstan bilateral relations
- India was among the first countries to recognize the five Central Asian states. It established diplomatic relations with them after they gained independence in 1990s.
- India now considers the Central Asian countries as part of its ‘extended and strategic neighbourhood’.
- Trade: Kazakhstan is the most resource-rich country in Central Asia and is also India’s largest trade and investment partner. Total bilateral trade amounted to USD 1.2 bn between the two countries.
- Kazakhstan has a civil nuclear deal with India to provide the highly demanded uranium
- Defence Cooperation: According to the Ministry of Defence, on April 9, 2021, the two ministers met in New Delhi and the focus of the talks was on the bilateral defence cooperation, capacity building, training and military exercises.
- And both agreed to explore the possibility of defence industrial collaboration.
- Indian companies have been in talks with Kazakhstan defence industries for co-production and co-development in defence production.
- Space Cooperation: Both countries are in discussion on the possibility of developing a space communication system (satellite) KazSat-2R. 0. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and National Space Agency of Kazakhstan are in discussions to develop a satellite jointly and a possible launch through the agency later on. 1. Kazakhstan is host to the famous Baikonur Cosmodrome.
- Military exercises: A joint military exercise between India and Kazakhstan on counterinsurgency operations in mountainous terrains called KAZIND took place in 2019.
- India’s Connect Central Asia Policy also has a forward-looking orientation which at the same time promotes India’s geo-strategic as well as geo-economic interests in the region.
- Ashgabat Agreement: India has acceded to the Ashgabat Agreement, an international transport and transit corridor facilitating transportation of goods between Central Asia and the Persian Gulf
- India and Kazakhstan actively cooperate under the aegis of various multilateral fora including CICA, SCO and the UN organisations
There is a need to enhance people-to-people cooperation with Kazakhstan and other Central Asian states. Acquiring a visa becomes a major hassle for academic communities, experts, businesspersons and tourists. The respective embassies of Central Asia and India should ease the visa-rules and ensure hassle-free travel to legitimate people. Travellers after all become the carriers of culture and tradition without a cost