India-Kyrgyz Republic: 30 years of sustainable development partnership

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Relations between India and the Kyrgyz Republic have followed a positive trajectory since the establishment of diplomatic relations. The recent visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. S Jaishankar, to the Kyrgyz Republic broadens the horizon of bilateral relations between the two nations.

Due to its geostrategic location and vast economic potential, the Central Asian region is of great importance to India. In the same vein, to enhance cooperation, India will host the first India-Central Asia Summit.

India will host the first India-Central Asia Summit:

In a major effort towards its broader neighborhood policy, India will host the first meeting of the India-Central Asia Summit. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will host the first of its kind engagement between India and Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) in a virtual format on January 27, 2022.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, at the inaugural India-Central Asia summit, leaders are expected to discuss steps to take India-Central Asia relations to new heights. During the high-level meeting, leaders are expected to discuss developments in the regional security situation against the backdrop of the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan.

Announcement of the summit followed, as the government moved to continue Republic Day celebrations after rising COVD-19 cases in the country canceled visits by leaders from five countries. from Central Asia as main guests. However, no official announcement has been made in this regard.

Relations between India and the Kyrgyz Republic:

Following the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992, the two countries signed several framework agreements, including on culture, trade and economic cooperation, civil aviation, promotion and protection of investments, avoidance of double taxation, consular convention, etc. cooperation, the two countries also share common concerns regarding the threat of terrorism, radicalism and drug trafficking.

On the other hand, as part of the evolution of development partnership, India had paid 2 million US dollars to Kyrgyzstan for holding the SCO summit in Bishkek in June 2019. University Computing Center Kyrgyz State Building, Transport and Architecture, Bishkek; Potato processing factory in Talas; language laboratory at the Diplomatic Academy in Bishkek; telemedicine links linking six hospitals in Kyrgyzstan are some examples of the technical assistance provided to the Kyrgyz side.

Commercial and economic links:

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, bilateral trade between India and the Kyrgyz Republic in 2018-2019 recorded US$32.60 million. India’s exports to the Kyrgyz Republic were US$30.02 million, while Kyrgyz exports to India were US$2.59 million.

Indian exports to Kyrgyzstan include ready-made garments and textile products, pharmaceuticals, agro-food products (tea, coffee and spices), dyes, electrical and electronic products, machinery, vehicles and spare parts , essential oils and cosmetics, perfumery, machinery, footwear, precious stones, ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

While on the other hand, Kyrgyzstan’s exports to India include small volumes of jet fuel, meat and fish products, tanned leather including defense industry products.

To further strengthen the ties, the India-Kyrgyzstan Intergovernmental Commission (IKIGC) was established in 1992. During the 7th session held in New Delhi on 17-18 March 2015, two MoUs on cooperation in the field of textiles and hydroelectricity were signed. . The 9th session of the IKIGC was held in New Delhi in 2018 under the leadership of the Secretary (Commerce).

Bilateral visits:

The growing strategic partnership between India and the Kyrgyz Republic can also be affirmed with a number of high profile mutual visits between the two nations. Recently, the Minister of External Affairs, Dr. S. Jaishankar paid a two-day official visit to the Kyrgyz Republic in October 2021. During his visit, Dr. S Jaishankar of EAM extended a line of credit of $200 million for development projects in Kyrgyzstan with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on High Impact Community Development Projects. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited Kyrgyzstan twice, first in 2015 and later in 2019.

During Prime Minister Modi’s 2019 visit to the country, India and the Kyrgyz Republic signed the Joint Declaration on Establishing Strategic Partnership, followed by the signing of 15 documents including the Bilateral Treaty of investment, the roadmap on trade and economic cooperation between the Republic of India and the Kyrgyz Republic for the period of five years (2019-2024), memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of health, protocol agreement between Export-Import Bank of India and the Investment Promotion and Protection Agency of the Kyrgyz Republic, among others.

Recent bilateral visits followed by the Kyrgyz side include President Sooronbay Jeenbekov’s visit to India on May 30, 2019. Former President Almazbek Atambayev also paid an official visit to India in December 2016.

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