- 31 May 2019
- 4 min read
The President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbay Jeenbekov, who holds the current chair of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, was the guest at the swearing-in ceremony of the Prime Minister of India. India is likely to extend a $ 100 million line of credit to Kyrgyzstan to enable the transfer of defence equipment.
- The Central Asian Republic has shared a request for defence equipment from India, taking the strategic relationship beyond the current level of bilateral exercises and the construction of a joint mountain warfare training centre in the city of Balykchy (Kyrgyzstan).
- India enjoys strong bilateral ties with Kyrgyzstan since 1991 when the country was declared an independent nation.
- India was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic ties with independent Kyrgyzstan in 1992.
- Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992, the two countries have signed several framework agreements, including on Culture, Trade and Economic Cooperation, Civil Aviation, Investment Promotion and Protection, Avoidance of Double Taxation, Consular Convention etc.
- In 2011, the joint ‘Khanjar’ series of exercises was started.
- The commercial trade between India and Kyrgyzstan was $24.98 million in 2016-17. Indian exports to Kyrgyzstan in that fiscal year stood at $22.66 million while Kyrgyzstan's exports to India stood at $2.32 million.
- Apparel and clothing, leather goods, drugs and pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals, and tea are some of the important items from our export basket to Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyz exports to India includes raw hides, metalliferous ores and metal scrap.
- Indian diaspora in Kyrgyzstan- about 9,000 Indian students are studying medicine in various medical institutions in the country. Also, there are many businessmen living in Kyrgyzstan who are involved in trade and several other services there.
- The Kyrgyz leaderships have been largely supportive of India’s stand on Kashmir. They also support India’s bid for a permanent seat at the UNSC and India’s role in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
- Recent initiatives by India to fast-track the construction, operationalisation, simplification and streamlining of procedures for transport over the International North-South Transport Corridor as well as construction of the Chabahar sea-port and its hinterland will go a long way in improving connectivity between the two countries.
Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia
- Kyrgyzstan is a country in Central Asia which is bounded by Kazakhstan on the northwest and north, by China on the east and south, and by Tajikistan and Uzbekistan on the south and west. The capital is Bishkek.
- Kyrgyzstan shares the Fergana valley with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The valley is home to several terrorist groups like Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), Hizb-ut-Tahtir (HuT) and others which can cause instability. They are prone to increasingly indulge in violent acts if Taliban expands its presence from beyond the borders of Afghanistan.
- The Central Asia region (CAR) is rich in minerals, especially hydrocarbons.
- India as an extended neighbour of CAR has major geostrategic and economic interests in this region.
- The future prospects for cooperation between Central Asia and India in the field of energy security seem to be very important. Peace and stability in CAR and Afghanistan seems to be the most crucial factor for India's security.