All Posts (78)

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has advocated reopening of ancient trading routes between the state and Central Asian countries as this will help the state to open up to the outside world and its opportunities. 

During Foreign Office consultations between India and Kyrgyzstan, issues of mutual interest, including common concerns over terrorism, extremism and drug-trafficking were discussed.

Ambassador of…

Read more…

Political Developments - January 2018

Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov made Uzbekistan the first country of his visit after being elected and signed a bilateral strategic partnership agreement. Both countries view development of transportation links between Central Asian nations as a top priority. Trade turnover in first nine months of 2017 grew by more than 60% compared to 2016. This figure could rise to US$280 million for whole of 2017. They resolved to increase it to US$500 million. They stressed need to…

Read more…

Economic Developments - December 2017

7th Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) was held in Turkmenistan to discuss investment opportunities in Afghanistan. Political and business leaders from 40 countries and representatives of 30 regional and international organizations focused on key aspects of economic development of Afghanistan. Afghan foreign minister said that 7th RECCA Meeting had come at a time when need for economic growth, stability and confidence-building in the…

Read more…

Indian Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat held talks in New Delhi with Kyrgyz armed forces chief on ways to expand bilateral security and defence cooperation.

Kyrgyzstan was focus country in annual India International Trade Fair organized in Delhi from 14th-27th November, 2017. 7,000 exhibitors participated in the Exhibition. 

The 14-day long joint training exercise between defence forces of India and Kazakhstan titled…

Read more…

Political Developments - December 2017

Kyrgyzstan’s newly-elected President Sooronbay Jeenbekov was sworn into office on 24th November, 2017. Jeenbekov’s assumption of office is the first peaceful transfer of power in Kyrgyzstan’s contemporary history. The two former presidents, Askar Akayev and Kurmanbek Bakiyev, were toppled through revolutions in 2005 and 2010 respectively and fled the country.

Prosecutors in Kyrgyzstan have opened a criminal case against Omurbek…

Read more…

Economic Developments - November 2017

Kazakhstan witnessed increase in prices of petrol over last several weeks. Kazakh Minister for Energy cited declining import volumes of Russian petrol and maintenance works at Kazakhstan’s major oil refineries as key reasons for it. Prime Minister Sagintayev was however not satisfied and instructed the government to fire Vice Minister of Energy and Vice-President of Kazakh Oil Company. Energy Minister was reprimanded and instructed to work harder to find immediate solution…

Read more…

Political Developments - November 2017

Presidential election in Kyrgyzstan was held on 15th October, 2017. Sooronbai Jeenbekov, a protégé of outgoing president Almazbek Atambayev and candidate from Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan (SDPK), won with 55% - a stronger result than earlier polls had predicted. Omurbek Babanov, multimillionaire leader of Respublika Party conceded defeat but said he would investigate irregularities. Jeenbekov will assume office on 1st December, 2017.

In run up to final vote,…

Read more…

Minister of State for External Affairs M.J Akbar visited Kyrgyzstan to participate in the International Conference “Islam in a Modern Secular State”. He met Kyrgyz Prime Minister and discussed the state of bilateral ties particularly expansion of people to people contacts. Kyrgyz PM expressed appreciation for gifting equipment Bhabhatron-2 to National Center of Oncology of Kyrgyzstan. 

MOS (Law & Justice) Shri P.P. Chaudhary visited…

Read more…

India and Kazakhstan decided during the thirteenth 2-day meeting of Inter-Governmental Commission to strengthen cooperation in hydrocarbons and nuclear energy sectors, and also expand the International North-South Transport Corridor by linking it to the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran rail link. India’s Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Kazakh Energy Minister Kanat Bozumbayev co-chaired the meeting. The two sides discussed "ideas for stepping up cooperation in…

Read more…

Political Developments - October 2017

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s visit to Tashkent on 16th September was termed ‘’historic and ground-breaking’’ by both sides. This was 6th meeting between Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev with his Kazakh counterpart since the former assumed power last year. The leaders have conducted seven telephonic conversations during this period. Since beginning of the year, bilateral trade has grown 35%, communication between the two countries has…

Read more…

Economic Developments - October 2017

Uzbekistan devalued its currency (som) by almost half as it floated the currency to end more than two decades of economic and market isolation. US dollar was pegged at 8,100 soms compared with previous rate of 4,210 soms. The new rate was even weaker than som's black-market convertibility of 7,700 to the dollar.

In a meeting with Uzbekistan's President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on sidelines of first Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Summit…

Read more…

Political Developments - September 2017

At the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon paid a bilateral state visit to China from 30th August to 5th September in connection with the summit of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) countries. The two presidents signed a joint statement on establishing a comprehensive strategic partnership and vowed to expand partnerships in finance, agriculture, water resources, energy, mining and other areas.…

Read more…

Economic Developments - September 2017

Kazakhstan has identified 36 potential countries seeking investment. 11 out of these have been given top priority viz USA, Russia, UK, Germany, France, Italy, China, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, UAE. The national investment strategy for 2018-2022 seeks to increase foreign investment by 26% in five years. 

Kazakhstan raised its GDP growth forecast this year to 3.4% from 2.5%, citing stronger-than-expected performance to date. In January-July,…

Read more…

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov led a high-powered delegation to New Delhi on August 13-15. The delegation participated in the 6th Session of India-Turkmenistan Intergovernmental Commission for Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation. Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs of India and co-chair of the Commission, and Meredov comprehensively reviewed the gamut of bilateral relations particularly in areas of…

Read more…

General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Indian Army Staff (COAS) visited Kazakhstan & Turkmenistan from 01-06 Aug 2017 with a high level military delegation.

In Kazakhstan from 01-03 August 2017, General Rawat met Defence Minister, Chairman of the National Security Committee, Vice Minister of Defence and Aerospace Industry along with Commander-in-Chief of Land Forces of Kazakhstan. He also visited the elite Air Assault Brigade and National Defence…

Read more…

Political Developments - August 2017

Kazakhstan has stated that Russia, Turkey, and Iran have agreed to restart Syria peace talks in Astana at the end of August. The fifth round of negotiations on 4-5 July,2017 ended without an agreement. In spite of failure of negotiations, Moscow said that the basic framework had been “essentially agreed”. Moscow said that details of proposed zones, such as the territory covered by them and what forces would participate still “need finalising” because Turkish…

Read more…

Economic Developments - August 2017

Moody has raised Kazakhstan’s sovereign rating to Baa3 and improved its prognosis from negative to stable. It cited the economy’s increasing adaptiveness to low oil prices as a decisive factor for the decision. Kazakhstan has used funds to help lenders with huge bad debt portfolios address their liabilities before international creditors. The country’s low debt burden and accumulation of financial reserves has permitted the government to apply effective measures to stimulate…

Read more…

Political Developments - July 2017

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani visited Turkmenistan on 3rd July and held discussions with his Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov on trade and investment, the Turkmenistan-Afghan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline, regional safety and bilateral cooperation. Another important project discussed was railway from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan. The leaders agreed to continue cooperation to combat international terrorism, extremism, illegal drug trafficking,…

Read more…

Kazakh Embassy in New Delhi organized a Reception dedicated to 25th anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic Service of Kazakhstan. Speaking on the occasion, Joint Secretary Srinivas from Ministry of External Affairs noted the current high level of bilateral relations as well as importance of recent visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Astana to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit. This year also marks the 25th Anniversary of establishment of…

Read more…

Economic Developments - July 2017

World Bank approved two loans totaling $294.9 million to Uzbekistan for projects in land reclamation and livestock sector. These funds will be allocated for 20 years, including a five-year grace period. 

Turkmen President invited business community of Uzbekistan to participate in the TAPI gas pipeline project. Uzbekistan was also offered to develop oil and gas fields on the Caspian shelf.

Inflation in…

Read more…

About the Author

Ambassador Ashok Sajjanhar belongs to the Indian Foreign Service and has acquitted his responsibilities in the diplomatic service for 34 years. He was Ambassador of India to Kazakhstan, Sweden and Latvia and has worked in senior diplomatic positions in Indian Embassies/Missions in Washington DC, Brussels, Moscow, Geneva, Tehran, Dhaka and Bangkok and also at Headquarters in India. He negotiated for India in the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations and in negotiations for India-EU, India-ASEAN and India-Thailand Free Trade Agreements.

He contributed significantly to strengthening strategic ties and promoting cultural cooperation between India and USA, EU, Russia and other countries.Ambassador Sajjanhar worked as head of National Foundation for Communal Harmony to promote amity and understanding between different religions, faiths and beliefs. Ambassador Sajjanhar has been decorated by Governments of Kazakhstan and Latvia with their National Awards and by Universal Peace Federation with Title of ''Ambassador of Peace.'' Currently Ambassador Sajjanhar is President of Institute of Global Studies, New Delhi. He writes, travels and speaks extensively on issues relating to international relations, foreign policy and themes of contemporary relevance and significance. He appears widely on TV panel discussions. Ambassador Sajjanhar is interested in reading, music and travelling. His wife Madhu is an economist and an educationist. They have a son and a daughter both of who are accomplished singers. Their son passed out of Yale University and their daughter is pursuing her PhD at University of Minnesota.