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Ambassador Participates in the 6th Central Asian Trade Forum in Almaty

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Ambassador Shri Harsh Jain participated in the 6th Central Asian Trade Forum on the theme “Export Potential and Trade Development: New Challenges and Opportunities in Central Asia” organized by the USAID's Regional Economic Cooperation Project in Almaty on September 7-8, 2016. He spoke at the panel discussion on “Economic and Geopolitical Conditions for Export Potential and Trade Development in Central Asia” and Round table on “Enhancing Economic Ties between India and Central Asia”.


In his address, Ambassador expressed gladness that a business delegation from Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is participating in the Forum this year for the first time. He stated that India’s bilateral trade with the region increased from US$ 85 million in 1997-98 to US$ 819 million in 2015-16; but, it is very low if it is compared with India’s total trade or India’s trade with countries surrounding Central Asia.


He highlighted that India’s rapid economic growth offers an enormous potential for expansion of economic relations with Central Asian region. He noted that there is a strong economic complementarity between India and the region in terms of resources, manpower and markets.


He stated that India can provide a range of goods and services to Central Asia such as pharmaceuticals, meat, fish and other sea products, motor cars, tractors, rice, tea, textiles, fabrics, ready-made garments, marble, granite, leather products, engineering goods, IT software, health-care services, tourism, education, consultancy and entertainment products. He added that similarly, export of various commodities such as hydrocarbons, non-ferrous metals including gold, copper, silver and uranium, fertilisers, cashew nuts, oil seeds, lentils and a variety of fruits including apples can be enhanced from Central Asia to India.


He suggested that Indian companies can help develop the trade potential in Central Asia by forging partnerships in production of hydrocarbons, renewable energy, mining, agriculture, food processing, pharmaceutical, healthcare, fertilisers, engineering consultancy and EPC services, education, banking, financial services, information technology, tourism, hospitality, textile, garments, media and entertainment industries.


He mentioned the lack of efficient transport connectivity, information and credibility gap and difficult visa regime as some of the main impediments hampering growth of India’s trade with and investments in the region. He outlined the efforts made to remove the impediments and identify opportunities to promote trade and economic cooperation with the region such as development of Chahbahar port in Iran, operationalization of the International North South Transport Corridor, and extending support to businesspersons from the region to participate in trade fairs, exhibitions and buyer-seller meets in India and vice versa.


An 11-member CII delegation led by Mr. Prasanna Sarambale, Vice President, Sterling and Wilson Pvt. Ltd., comprising companies from varied sectors such as construction, healthcare, solar energy, power, etc participated in the Forum. They met Ambassador on 7th September, attended B2B meetings on September 6-7, 2016 and interacted with Almaty Chamber of Entrepreneurs, India-Kazakhstan Joint Business Council and the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Culture, Almaty.