The recent opening of the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway that links up with the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas has opened up new economic opportunities for India in the region through Kazakhstan.
According to Kazakhstan’s new Ambassador to India Bulat Sarsenbayev, his government plans to invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit next year. That could boost the strategic and trade partnership with Central Asia’s biggest country.
“Our goal is to increase diplomatic relations, strategic partnership next year. We are going to prepare the next step in our relations. Our president is going to invite Prime Minister Modi to visit Kazakhstan. During that visit, we will sign some agreements, for investments for some trade between India and Kazakhstan,” Sarsenbayev said.
Modi has opportunities to visit Kazakhstan on two likely trips to Russia–for the G20 summit and for the annual summit with Moscow. Sarsenbayev, who took over as ambassador a month back, feels that leaders of Kazakhstan and India have a similar vision to take the people of their respective countries on the path of development and economic progress through their recently announced signature programs Nur Zhol (Path to the Future) and Make in India, respectively. Kazakhstan would welcome India’s participation in the Nur Zhol programme.
Nur Zhol, he said, is new in the sense that “the government of Kazakhstan, the president of Kazakhstan, came to the conclusion that regional development now is a bit difficult, there are many challenges, you know with many sanctions on Russia, sanctions on some other countries, and it does not help to move economies.”
“For us, we are not directly under the sanctions, but, as a partner of Russia, next year, we are going to start an economic union, and Kazakhstan will be bit affected, not directly, but indirectly because of this development. That is why our president… has launched his mission,” said Sarsenbayev.