ASTANA – A Kazakh-Indian business forum with the participation of Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Karim Massimov and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi took place in Astana on July 7.
The forum was held in the framework of Modi’s official visit to Kazakhstan. More than 100 people, including Ambassador of India to Kazakhstan Harsh Kumar Jain, representatives of major Indian and Kazakh companies and businesses and representatives of state bodies, national holdings and the media gathered for the meeting.
During the forum, the Kazakh side presented investment opportunities in the country and informed their visitors on support measures the government provides for foreign investors.
Modi praised the “huge strides” made by Kazakhstan in economic progress over the last decade. He noted that Kazakhstan offers very attractive conditions to potential investors and partners.
“Despite the fact that your country is landlocked and situated between two world powers, the government has introduced its own successful economic programme. Working hard, your people demonstrated their talent and the big opportunities of the country,” he said.
Following the forum, the National Agency for Export and Investment, KAZNEX Invest, and the Investment Promotion Agency Invest India signed a road map for trade, economic and investment cooperation between Kazakhstan and India, including 26 promising projects in various fields, as well as 12 memoranda of cooperation between the partners of the two states.
The signed documents envision cooperation in the chemical industry and pharmacology, mining and processing rare metals like tungsten and molybdenum, as well as information technology projects.
Noting that Kazakhstan is blessed with natural resources, the Indian prime minister emphasised that India has huge demand for these resources, creating great potential for partnership between the two countries.
“Kazakhstan is rich in natural resources, with a big territory and small population size. Not many countries in the world have similar opportunities for development. On the other hand, India is a big country with a big population. We have a huge demand for your … natural resources. We can achieve economic development in both of our countries through mutual cooperation,” Modi said.
According to Modi, new technologies will help Kazakhstan join the top developed economies in the world by 2050. He also called for more investment from Kazakh companies in India, particularly in the areas of renewable energy, smart cities, housing and railways.
“Kazakhstan could benefit from partnerships with Indian companies, which will bring in modern technology, engineering skills and cost-effective mechanisms. Kazakhstan could also benefit from India’s strength in the IT sector. Poor connectivity was the biggest barrier to deepening economic engagement between the two countries. We need to enhance connectivity between India and Kazakhstan,” he said.
During the forum, participants were shown online the commencement of drilling at the Satpayev Exploration Block in Kazakhstan’s North Caspian region, where the Indian company ONGC Videsh Ltd. has a 25 percent stake.