India-Kazakhstan sign Memorandum of Understanding

On November 17, 2020, India and Kazakhstan held seventh round of foreign office consultations via video conference. The countries signed the “Indian Grant Assistance for Implementation of High Impact Community Projects in Kazakhstan”.

Highlights

During the consultations, the countries reviewed their bilateral cooperation within the framework of their strategic partnership. The consultations covered economic, political, defence, energy, space, cultural matters. Also, the countries shared their experiences in combating COVID-19 pandemic.

The countries also agreed to enhance their cooperation in multilateral forums including the forthcoming term of India as a member of United Nations Security Council for the period 2021-22.

Nuclear Resources in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan has 12% of world uranium resources. In 2019, the country produced 43% of world Uranium.

Petroleum in Kazakhstan

The country holds 30 billion barrels of oil reserves.

India-Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan sources 80% of India’s Uranium needs. Under India-Kazakhstan nuclear deal, so far Kazakhstan has supplied 9,000 tonnes of Uranium to India. In 2019, India and Kazakhstan renewed their nuclear deal for a period of 2020-24.

Kazakhstan plays major role in the economy of Central Asia.

Why is Central Asia important for India?

Central Asia acts as a bridge between Asia and Europe. The region is rich in natural resources such as petroleum, antimony, natural gas, silver, gold and uranium. The Central Asian regions are getting integrated into the East-West Trans-Eurasian transit economic corridors. Therefore, India can increase its trade largely to Europe as well.

In order to increase connectivity with the central Asian countries India along with Iran and Russia established the International North South Transport Corridor in 2000. It is a multi-modal transportation. It connects Indian Ocean and Caspian sea and then connects St Petersburg and North Europe via Russia. This connectivity will mainly help India with its oil imports. As Kazakhstan is land locked from three sides, oil has to be brought to Iran to reach India.

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