Indo-Kazakh cooperation on dynamic rise, says envoy

November 14th, 2007 - 8:06 am ICT by admin  
New Delhi, Oct 30 (ANI): Bilateral cooperation between Kazakhstan and India, especially in the energy sector, would see a dynamic rise in the immediate future, said Dr. Kairat Umarov, Kazakhstan’s Ambassador to India.

Addressing a select group of media persons, academics and experts at the Embassy of Kazakhstan on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Kazakhstan 2030 and the celebration of its Republic Day, Ambassador Umarov said: “Our bilateral cooperation is on the dynamic rise.”

“In 2006, the trade turnover between the two countries has increased by 74 per cent, reaching the 210 million dollar mark. Last year, Indian investment to Kazakhstan has increased to 16 million dollars,” he added.

Appreciating India’s constant support to Kazakhstan’s overall development and economic progress, Dr. Umarov said Kazakhstan would make it possible to reach the next height of progress in 2030.

Energy-deficient India is keenly looking towards Kazakhstan as one of the countries that it would like to tap to meet its domestic demands.

India’s energy demands are expected to reach nearly 3.5 million barrels per day (mbd) by 2010.

Kazakhstan, that is the nearest energy rich country, could be a significant source for India to meet its future energy security. According to a report released by the Washington-based Energy Information Administration, Kazakhstan has proven oil reserves of 13.8 billion barrels and 68.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas deposits.

In the first half of the twenty first century, India will be one of the top five consumers of energy. Currently, most of India’s import comes from the Persian Gulf region, but to enhance its energy security India needs to look at an alternative source of energy. In this respect the Caspian region can be an alternative source for India since this region is considered to have the proven reserves of 25 to 30 billion barrels of oil.

Terming the 10th anniversary of Kazakhstan 2030 as a significant milestone, Dr. Umarov said that the adoption of the Kazakhstan 2030 project has become a turning point towards prosperous nation-building.

Speaking on the seven long-term priority aims, he said, “On each of those priorities, Kazakhstan has achieved tangible results.”

Informing about the development of energy resources, he said the main engine behind the country’s growth was the effective use of available natural resources, including the energy sector.

“We have avoided the Dutch disease and are efficiently using the oil and gas incomes to invest in high-tech sectors. In due course, Kazakhstan will become one of the 10 hydrocarbon rich countries in the world,” he said.

By 2017, he added, the country would enter the ranks of the 10 biggest energy exporters in the world.

In terms of national security, he said, Kazakh foreign policy initiatives such as CICA (Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia) were having a great positive impact in ensuring national security.

Given the appearance of non-traditional threats such as terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking, illegal trafficking of arms and nuclear materials, he said, “Kazakhstan is updating national security forces and expanding its international cooperation.”

On economic growth, he said it was being sustained.

“GDP has been growing by 10 per cent a year since 2000. Kazakh economy has attracted 70 billion dollar foreign investments, which accounts for 80 per cent of all investments made in Central Asia.”

In terms of improvement of infrastructure, over the last 10 years, the country has witnessed construction and renovation of four thousand kilometres of roads.

Besides the construction of new railroads, highways and electrification of railways, he said, “National Maritime Commercial Fleet, sea ports and international shipping ways will be developed.”

People of the country would also be provided with the modern telecommunication services, he added.

As far as the social well-being of the people is concerned, he said that everyone in the country is agreeable to tangible improvements in their lives.

In the near future, he said, “We are going to see massive reforms in the healthcare and education sector. We are also promoting interaction with international partners.”

As for domestic political stability and consolidation of society, Dr. Umarov said: “We are proud to say that the greatest asset that we have is the inter-ethnic and inter-religious harmony in our country.”

In the end, he said that Kazakhstan’s ambitious tasks cannot be implemented without a professional government.

“We have adopted all necessary laws, ensuring better performance of authorities, including the Laws on public service, fight against corruption, the Code of Honour of public servants,” the Ambassador to India said.

The perception of Kazakhstan in particular and the Central Asian Republics (CARs) in general, towards India has undergone a significant change since 1991. India is now increasingly being looked at as a source of massive investment and trade, of a big market in the region and mainly, as an ally which has no hidden geopolitical agenda in its foreign policy. Kazakhstan is therefore, eager to get Indian investments in its economy and establish mutually beneficial trading relationships. (ANI)

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