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India, Kazakhstan hold 7th round of Foreign Office Consultations (FoC) Virtually

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7th round of Foreign Office Consultations (FoC) between India & KazakhstanOn 17th November, 2020, India and Kazakhstan held their 7th round of Foreign Office Consultations (FoC) through video-conference. The Indian side was led by Vikas Swarup, Secretary (West), and Kazakh side was led by Shakhrat Nuryshev, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU):

The two sides signed a MoU on “Indian Grant Assistance for Implementation of High Impact Community Development Projects in Kazakhstan”.

Key Points:

i.Both sides reviewed the progress made in bilateral cooperation in areas which fall under the framework of Strategic Partnership.

ii.They held consultations on issues relation to political, economic and commercial, energy, defence, space, consular and cultural matters.

iii.Both Countries put forth their views and experiences on combating COVID-19 Pandemic.

iv.The two sides discussed their view on regional and international issues of mutual interest, they agreed to enhance cooperation in International forums.

India-Kazakhstan Relations:

i.As of 2018, The total bilateral trade between India and Kazakhstan amounted to USD 1.2 Billion, exports from Kazakhstan stood at USD 954.08 Million, and exports from India was USD 242.78 Million.

ii.Kazakhstan is the major source of Uranium for India, it supplies 80% of India’s needs.

iii.As part of the India-Kazakhstan nuclear deal, Kazakhstan has supplied 9, 000 tonnes of Uranium to India. Both countries renewed their nuclear deal for a period of 2020-24.

iv.Bilateral relations with Kazakhstan will be vital for India as Kazakhstan plays a major role in Economy of Central Asia.

Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC):

In 1993, The India-Kazakhstan Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) was established to develop trade, economic, scientific, technological, industrial and cultural cooperation between the two sides.

Areas of Cooperation:

i.Both the countries have established 8 Joint Working Groups in the areas of Counter Terrorism, Trade & Economic Cooperation, Defence & Military Technical Cooperation, Information Technology, Hydrocarbons, Textiles, Tea Debt and Space Cooperation.

ii.Two new Joint Working Groups on Transport & Connectivity and Health are to be set up in the future.

iii.FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry) and Chamber of International Commerce of Kazakhstan have set up a Joint Business Council (JBC) to promote trade, economic and investment cooperation between two countries.

About Kazakhstan:
President – Kassym-Jomart Tokayev
Capital – Nur-Sultan
Currency – Kazakhstani Tenge (KZT)