Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj flew down to Uzbekistan for a two-day state visit to attend the first-ever India-Central Asia Dialogue. During her address at the meet, she encouraged Central Asian nations to participate in the Chabahar project
India’s External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj addressed the first-ever India-Central Asia Dialogue during her two-day visit to Uzbekistan. She called on Central Asian nations to participate in the Chabahar Port Project, currently a trilateral venture between Afghanistan, Iran and India. The project would allow India to export goods to Afghanistan with greater ease.
The Indian leader, on Sunday, highlighted the importance of building air corridors for improving trade with Afghanistan and other Central Asian landlocked nations. She said, “While geographically, Afghanistan and Central Asia are landlocked, there are several ways in which India, Afghanistan and the Central Asian countries can join hands to work on promoting connectivity in the region so that trade and commerce may flow between us and our people to people exchanges may prosper”.
According to reports, India’s bilateral trade with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan is less than $2 billion. While focusing on greater connectivity and trade with the landlocked region, the India External Affairs Minister asserted that air corridors must be “based on universally recognized international norms, good governance, rule of law, openness, transparency and equality.”
The Foreign Minister also proposed “setting up of the ‘India-Central Asia Business Council’ formed by a leading Chamber of Commerce and Industry of each of our countries and comprising of our business communities as Members of this body.” She also affirmed that India would be “happy to organise” the first India-Central Asia Business Council in New Delhi in the coming months.