INDIA-CENTRAL ASIA by Atrishekhar sir TICS-IAS - Coggle Diagram
INDIA-CENTRAL ASIA by Atrishekhar sir TICS-IAS
● Trade at US $ 2bn
● India’s extended neighbourhood
Trade and investment potential: Central Asia's economic growth, especially in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, has sparked a construction boom and sectors such as IT, pharmaceuticals and tourism have been expanding.
The area also has a strong demand for Indian pharmaceutical products.
In 2015, with their earlier deal having expired, India and Kazakhstan signed a new agreement for the purchase of 5000 tonnes of Kazakh Uranium until the end of 2019.
Currently, both sides are negotiating a third agreement, as part of which Kazakhstan is planning to increase its supplies to India to 7500-10000 tonnes.
India also signed a uranium supply agreement with Uzbekistan.
● Untapped trade potential
● Geopolitics of energy
● Volatile security scenario
Weak connectivity has also led to India and Central Asia's below-par trade.
The unpredictable situation in Afghanistan
The Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) initiative involves Central Asia. In addition, the danger posed by the spill-over of Islamic radicalization to the Uighurs in Xinjiang province has led China to become well entrenched in Central Asian security affairs, thus indirectly affecting India's interests
Kyrgyzstan has turned to China for debt relief to deal with the economic impact of the pandemic
Turkmenistan owes at least US$ 8 billion in loans to China and the latter holds roughly 50 percent of Tajikistan’s US$ 2.8 billion foreign debt.
China has been expanding its regional presence through SCO and the ‘5+1 format’ launched in 2020 to further its clout.
Poor economic relations- India’s current trade figure of about USD 100 billion with the SCO members is also grotesquely asymmetric – about 90 billion is with China, 8 billion with Russia and 1.5 billion with the Central Asia states of which 1 billion is with Kazakhstan
Radicalism and extremism
Significance for India
● Energy security
● Geostrategic importance
● Common challenges like drugs, extremism
● Agricultural cooperation
● Trade & investment
Kazakhstan has the largest uranium reserves in the world.
Uzbekistan, along with Kyrgyzstan, is a significant regional producer of gold
Apart from oil deposits, Tajikistan has huge hydropower capacity
Turkmenistan has the world's fourth largest gas reserves.
Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan are both on the Caspian coastline, promising to open the door to other Caspian states that are rich in oil.
Central Asia lies in the middle of the Eurasian Continent and can help India achieve connectivity to Europe.
international transport corridors such as the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC).
India has joined the Ashgabat Agreement in February 2018 and the TIR Convention in 2017.
In 2008, Kazakhstan supported India in obtaining India-specific exemption to allow civil nuclear cooperation with the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) countries
Steps by India
● Defense agreement with Tajikistan
● Civil nuclear cooperation with Kaz
● Grants under high impact community development project
● INSTC, chabahar, ashgabat agreement
History of engagement: India and Central Asia share a long history of engagement since 3rd century B.C.
The Kushan Empire was expanded across the modern Central Asia region.
Since Ancient times India and Central Asia are connected through Silk route which have facilitated exchange of ideas, thoughts and philosophy.
Spices, cotton, silk etc were the main traded commodities which enhanced economic integration between these regions
Origin of Mughals can be traced back to Central Asia (Babur came from valley of Fergana) and many prominent personalities like Al Biruni , Amir Khusro and Sufi saints played vital role in spreading Islamic culture in India
The shared interests were also articulated through a ‘Look North Policy’ that emphasized shared concerns along with a desire to ‘promote stability and cooperation without causing harm to any third country.’
New Delhi signed the Strategic Partnership Agreements (SPA) in 2012 with Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to stimulate defence cooperation and deepen trade relations
geographically, Central Asia acts as a bridge between the various regions of Asia and between Europe and Asia.
New trade routes between India and Central Asia have been opened, bypassing Pakistan, with the Chabahar Agreement with Iran in effect.
It has been reported that, the only foreign military airbase in India, controlled by the IAF and the Tajik Air Force, is in Farkhor (Tajikistan).
Golden Crescent' illicit drug trade in opium cultivation (Iran-Pak-Afghan) and are also victims of the illicit weapons trade.
Central Asian instability can spill over to Kashmir.
Furthermore, religious extremism, fundamentalism and terrorism continue to pose threats to regional stability.