New Delhi(ANI): Kazakhstan's Ambassador to India, Bulat Sarsenbayev, has said Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting his country from July 7, and added that he has already had a series of consultations with officials of the concerned Indian ministries to firm up the agenda for that trip.
In an interview, Ambassador Sarsenbayev said, "I hope that the visit of his Excellency, Prime Minister Modi, which is already agreed between our two sides to be on 7th July, official visit to Kazakhstan, to Astana, will add an impulse to our relations, and our relations will grow further." "I had a meeting at the ministry of foreign affairs and we went through different issues on how to prepare for it and what should be done. And also, (we) discussed the joint committee meeting, which will be in the beginning of June between our governments, inter-government committee on economic, trade, education and other issues. There is three months left, (and) we have to move very fast," he added.
Ambassador Sarsenbayev further said there were many areas where Kazakhstan and India could cooperate bilaterally, including in the fields of renewable energy and oil exploration, and praised Prime Minister Modi's "Make in India" initiative. He said, "In India, you have such kind of programs like 'Make in India'. Actually, we (India and Kazakhstan) have very common programs. In India, you have 'Make in India'; in Kazakhstan, we have 'Made in Kazakhstan'. The accent is different, but still similar programs."
"India now takes very much attention to renewable energy, also because, the consumption of energy is big, because the population is big, the Indian population. So, for you, it is a very strategic issue. India is participating in Kazakhstan, possessing some shares in one of the oil fields. As to my information, they will complete drilling on 1st July, and by mid of July, there will be oil there. So, that is why, due to some information, oil will be there, so that is why in energy we cooperate," he added.
"To achieve some results, not just to make (a) visit for the (sake of a) visit, but to achieve some results, because politically, Kazakhstan and India, we do not have any problem, we are strategic partners. This is understood from both sides, and we support each other on the international level, on the bilateral level. But economically, we are not satisfied with our economy ties. We could do more; we clearly understand this. That's why, we should move faster now, Ambassador Sarsenbayev said.
"We want to want to compete and to make products which will be competitive in international levels. In this regard, we regard India as our possible partner to implement this industrialization program," he stated further.
Admitting that Kazakhstan is an energy-driven economy, he said his government has been taking well calculated steps to ensure there is both stability as well as economic growth. This, he said, was absolutely essential for a landlocked nation like Kazakhstan, and added that the initiatives taken over the last 24 years have proved to be quite successful. "For energy, as I mentioned, the fall of the oil prices, it has started to affect all countries. But we have a stabilization fund. We opened this fund in Norwegian style, and this fund we call as National Fund or Oil Fund. From mid of 2005, all revenue from oil and gas, we sent not to the budget of Kazakhstan, but to that fund. We have now about 100 billion dollars in reserves. So, that is why this fall of prices of oil will, of course, affect us, but not so directly our budget. It may affect the cash flow to Kazakhstan because of the lower prices of oil," he said
"That is why, from that time, we have an understanding that we need to develop our economy on some alternative energy resources, renewable energy resources. This is part of the industrialization program of Kazakhstan. Even this Expo 2017 is for future energy. We proposed this title and we want even build a village, an expo village, with such an approach, such a concept, to make an example for Kazakhstan and for the world. The future should be based on renewable, recyclable alternative energy and so on," Ambassador Sarsenbayev said.
India recognized the independence of Kazakhstan from the Soviet Union after the latter's dissolution in 1992, despite being one of the closest allies of the then Soviet Union. In recent years, India has sought to increase its commerce and strategic ties with Kazakhstan, which is the largest nation of the former Soviet republics, and occupies a major expanse of territory in Central Asia, with extensive oil, natural gas and mineral reserves. To bolster commerce, both nations have established the Indo-Kazakh Joint Business Council. India is working towards the development of its civilian nuclear energy industry as a clean alternative to satisfy its huge energy needs. Kazakhstan has plenty of the uranium required for nuclear energy, an item that India is in great need of.
Information technology, pharmaceuticals, space research, banking, creation of transport corridors, training of military officers, developing joint military-industrial projects and establishing a partnership between the defence industries of India and Kazakhstan, are some of the other areas that both nations leaderships have been looking at and working on in stages.