India has a lot to learn from Kazakhstan despite its size: Indian PM Narendra Modi09 july 2015, 14:56
On July 8 Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev has met with Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, who arrived on his first official visit to Kazakhstan at the invitation of the Kazakh leader, Tengrinews reports.
During the meeting, Nazarbayev and Modi dwelt on the key issues in bilateral cooperation as well as exchanged their opinions on the acute topic of the regional and international agenda.
Nazarbayev believes that there is a huge untapped potential for further development and strengthening of the cooperation between Kazakhstan and India. He reminded that Kazakhstan was India's largest trade partner in the region with the bilateral trade turnover reaching $1.3 billion in 2014 and 492 Kazakh-Indian enterprises operating in Kazakhstan.
“I am sure this visit will contribute to the deepening of the Kazakh-Indian ties, which have always been developing in a spirit of trust and mutual understanding. Your visit is a milestone event for us. (…) We have had a thorough discussion of all aspects of our cooperation including economy, regional politics and the situation around the world. Our countries have a similar international agenda and a huge trade and economic potential. The centuries-long friendship and cultural and historic ties make us brotherly nations,” Nazarbayev told Modi.
The Kazakh leader also congratulated Modi on his recent election as the country’s Prime Minister as well as on the Yoga Day celebrated on June 21. “I congratulate you and the people of India on the last International Yoga Day that was introduced thanks to your initiative. This is a sign of recognition of the spiritual heritage of the Indian people by the international community," Nazarbayev said.
Indeed, it was the Indian PM Narendra Modi, who proposed to establish the International Day of Yoga in his UN Address back in September last year. June 21 was then pronounced the International Day of Yoga by the UN resolution that was supported by over 170 member states, including Kazakhstan.
Nazarbayev emphasized that India was a strategic partner of Kazakhstan and that Kazakhstan “values these relations”. “A special road map for economic and investment cooperation is being developed (by Kazxnex Invest and Invest India), which will cover all issues we have discussed and which we will supervise. India plays a key role in ensuring the global security. Our countries lead many integration processes and we see that India's relations with China are improving and that Indian-Pakistani cooperation is reaching a new level. This is all happening in our region and it is very important for our trade.” Nazarbayev pointed out.
“I arrived yesterday and I have already learnt a lot. You welcomed us on such a high level, which is an honor for me and for all the people of India. (…) Your country has a small population. We can say that the population of the entire Kazakhstan is smaller than that of any city in India. But despite this and the fact that your neighbors are great powers like Russia and China, your skillful leadership, your vision and your commitment to develop your country are evident amid such conditions. Today Kazakhstan is developing as a very successful economy. This all is happening thanks to your planning. India has a lot to learn from Kazakhstan despite its size,” Modi declared.
He went on congratulating Kazakhstan on the Astana Day and on the 550th anniversary of the Kazakh Khanate. Indian Prime Minister also invited Kazakhstan’s President to visit his country.“Mister President, thank you for fruitful and pleasant visit. (…) For my part, I invite you, President Nazarbayev, and I am looking forward to meet you in India,” Modi said.
During Modi's visit, the two sides inked five important bilateral agreements.
The first one is a memorandum on mutual understanding on technical cooperation in the field of railways between Kazakhstan’s national railway company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy and India’s Ministry of Railways, which will enable Kazakhstan to access Indian ports.
The second agreement was signed between Kazakhstans' National Nuclear Company and India’s Atomic Energy Department, under which Kazakhstan, the world's largest producer of uranium, will supply 5,000 tons of this mineral to India in the period of 2015-2019.
Kazakhstan and India also agreed to exchange convicts enabling them to serve their prison terms in their home countries.
In addition, the Governments of Kazakhstan and India signed an agreement on defense cooperation, which is expected to boost military cooperation between the two nations, including regular joint drills, consultations, training of military personnel, special forces exchanges and cooperation in UN peacekeeping missions.
A memorandum on mutual understanding was signed by Kazakhstan’ Ministry of Culture and Sports and India’s Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
Besides, Narendra Modi confirmed India's participation in the upcoming EXPO-2017 to be held in Astana.
He also declared India's support to Kazakhstan's bid for a non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council for 2017-2018, while Kazakhstan, in turn, supported India's bid to become a permanent member of the reformed UN Security Council.
Reporting by Asemgul Kassenova, writing by Assel Satubaldina