By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Relations between India and Kazakhstan are developing in the spirit of friendship and partnership and are based on the cultural and historical closeness of the peoples living in these countries.
Trade turnover between Kazakhstan and India amounted to $1.2 billion at the end of 2018, showing a 26.5 percent increase compared to a year earlier.
Minister of National Economy Timur Suleimenov said that Kazakhstan is negotiating a free trade zone with India, as well as with Egypt, Israel, Serbia and Singapore.
In 2015, Kazakhstan signed an agreement on a free trade zone with Vietnam, and in 2018 with Iran, which opened preferential access for Kazakhstani goods to the market of countries with a total population of about 180 million inhabitants.
In turn, Energy Minister Kanat Bozumbayev said that following the visit of the Kazakh delegation to India and participation in the international conference Petrotech-2019, India is considering the possibility of creating an aviation hub for Kazakh shipments.
In addition, the Indian company Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is interested in buying a relatively large oil-producing enterprise in Kazakhstan.
ONGC as an integrated Oil & Gas Corporate has developed in-house capability in all aspects of exploration and production business i.e., Acquisition, Processing & Interpretation (API) of Seismic data, drilling, work-over and well stimulation operations, engineering & construction, production, processing, refining, transportation, marketing, applied R&D and training, etc.
Negotiations are also underway with engineering companies that would like to start assembly in Kazakhstan, and in the chemical industry sector, Indian investors are interested in the production of nitrogen fertilizers.
Imports from India increased by 14.2 percent and amounted to $ 242.8 million in 2018.
The main imported goods are medicines ($ 66.6 million, + 13 percent per year), tea with flavoring additives ($ 32.6 million, − 21.2 percent per year) and telephones ($11.1 million, an increase of 64.4 times in a year).
For 5 years (from 4th quarter 2013 to 3rd quarter 2018) the volume of direct Indian investment in the economy of Kazakhstan amounted to almost $100 million. The main areas of Indian investment are energy, finance and pharmaceuticals.
This year, about 560 legal entities and branches with Indian capital were registered in Kazakhstan. In recent years, companies such as SB PNB, Siva Swathi Textiles, Sava Health Care, etc. have been successfully operating in Kazakhstan.
Diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and India were established on February 22, 1992.
Kazakhstan supplies uranium concentrate to India, oil, asbestos, steel, salt, sulfur, lime, cement, raw hides and ferrous metals.
India exports to Kazakhstan coffee, tea, spices, tobacco, organic chemical compounds, pharmaceutical products, plastics, rubber, rubber products, electrical machinery and mechanical equipment.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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