‘Trade ties with India to improve during Kazakh president’s visit’

January 10th, 2009 - 4:59 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 10 (IANS) Trade ties between India and Kazakhstan are headed for a major boost during President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s visit to New Delhi, scheduled later this month.Kazakhstan’s Deputy Minister for Trade and Industries Zhanar S. Aitzhanova said her country was keen to improve trade ties with India not only in the energy sector but also in services, IT and textile industries.

“We are very much looking forward to further trade relations with India during the visit of our president (Nazarbayev) between Jan 23 and 26,” the Kazakh minister told a group of select mediapersons here Friday night.

Aitzhanova said during Nazarbayev’s visit, India and Kazakstan are expected to sign a host of trade agreements including the one on “the protection of intellectual property rights and geographical indications for Indian products like Basmati Rice, Alphonso Mangoes and Darjeeling Tea”.

“We are seeking India’s assistance in setting up textiles and IT industries in Kazakhstan,” Aitzhanova said.

She said her country was also looking for cooperation in areas of financial and other services sectors with India.

Aitzhanova, during her three-day visit to New Delhi, met India’s Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh and Commerce Secretary G.K. Pillai.

She said she had a “constructive” discussion with the Indian officials.

The visiting minister, who is also the chief negotiator for Kazakhstan’s World Trade Organisation (WTO) membership, said her country was seeking India’s support for the Central Asian country’s access to the global trade body.

“We have completed WTO-related talks with 22 countries and are still in negotiations with four nations - India, the US, the European Union and Saudi Arabia,” she said.

Aitzhanova said economic policies of the country - which has its annual GDP pegged around $135 billion - were being reformed as per WTO guidelines.

Kazakhstan, she said, has attracted foreign direct investment (FDI) of $72 billion, thanks to the country’s “open economic policies”.

Bilateral trade between India and Kazakhstan in the first 10 months of last year touched the $232 million mark - an increase of over 300 percent from $80 million in 2004.

Of this, the minister said, oil and allied exports to India have contributed $100 million, building material like asbestos $15 million and metal exports $20 million.

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