Bilateral Ties Between India & Kazakhstan and India’s Participation in SCO

Bilateral Ties Between India & Kazakhstan and India’s Participation in SCO

Question: India and Kazakhstan have recently deepened bilateral ties during PM Modi’s visit to this Central Asian nation. Discuss in the context of MoUs signed and India’s participation in the SCO.

MoUs/Agreements and Deepening of Ties

- India and Kazakhstan inked 5 key agreements including a defence pact for enhancing military cooperation and contract for the supply of uranium

- The leaders of the two nations also agreed to engage actively in the fight against religious extremism and terrorism

- Both sides agreed to work together to expand bilateral trade through structural impediments between India and hydrocarbon endowed Kazakhstan

- Perspectives were shared on key global issues such as regional peace, connectivity and integration, reforms in the UN and combating terrorism

- Defence and security cooperation was also an important aspect of strategic partnership between the two leaders which was also discussed

- A new MoU on defence cooperation was formulated

- This MoU will widen the scope of bilateral defence cooperation such as regular exchange of visits, consultations, military personnel training, military-technical cooperation, joint exercises, special forces exchanges and cooperation as far as UN peacekeeping operations are concerned

- A contract was also signed between NC KazAtomProm JSC and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited for continued long term supply of natural uranium to India for meeting energy requirements

- Kazakhstan was among the first nations which launched civil nuclear cooperation with India via a uranium purchase contract. Expansion of cooperation in this area as well as that of exploration of other minerals has been facilitated during the PM’s recent visit to this Central Asian nation

- A joint statement called Tej Kadam was also released following the talks which addressed the rising challenge posed by terrorism in the present region

- The organisation of the Business Forum and creation of Joint Business Council during the visit provide for renewed cooperation in business between the two nations

- The two leaders also noted that the signing of an agreement between the Chamber of Foreign Commerce of Kazakhstan and Federation of Chambers of Commerce of India/FICCI will promote business linkages.

- Memorandum on Mutual Understanding on Technical Cooperation in the sphere of railways between the NC "Kazakhstan Temir Zholy" JSC and the Ministry of Railways of India was also signed

- The establishment of a Joint Study Group between India and Eurasian Economic Union on the feasibility of FTA will expand economic linkages between Kazakhstan and India

- During the 12th Meeting of the Kazakhstan-India Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) on trade, economic, scientific, technological, and cultural cooperation, new initiatives and proposals to strengthen cooperation in different sectors between countries were also explored.

India’s Participation of the SCO

India’s membership of the SCO is very critical as it offers the following advantages.

- It opens up trade energy and transit routes between Russia and China passing through central Asia which were earlier blocked for India

- The observer status of Iran on the SCO will serve as a platform for India to discuss trade via the Chabahar and Bandar Abbas ports in Iran

- This will also link them to the Russian proposal for a North-South Transport Corridor

- Though the SCO charter does not allow discussion of bilateral issues, security grouping will also provide a chance for India and Pakistan to sort out their mutual differences

- SCO could also become a guarantor for projects such as IPI(Iran Pakistan India) and TAPI (Turkmenistan Afghanistan Pakistan India) involving security concerns

- SCO summit is a crucial interface to engage with Afghanistan while there is a pullout of troops and talks with the Taliban are progressing

- SCO is also an important counterbalance to the tilt towards the US and its allies on security issues given that India abstained in the UNHRC vote on Israel

Facts and Stats

Besides a defence pact, the other pacts signed by India and Kazakhstan included the following:

- Treaty on Transfer of Sentenced Persons,

- Human resources,

- Cultural exchanges and capacity building.

- Regularly inter agency consultations and JWG on counter terrorism were also stressed during PM Modi’s recent visit to Kazakhstan

- India and Kazakhstan cooperate under the aegis of numerous Multilateral Fora including CICA, SCO and the UN

- Bilateral trade in 2013 between India and Kazakhstan was USD 676.91 million in comparison to USD 525.15 million in 2012
Post your comment