India, Kyrgyzstan discuss expanding bilateral cooperation

Indo Asian News Service

New Delhi, Jan 29 (IANS) India and Kyrgyzstan discussed expanding cooperation across multiple sectors during delegation-level talks led by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Aidarbekov Chingiz Azamatovich here on Tuesday.

"Detailed discussion on steps to expand cooperation in trade, investment, connectivity, defence, capacity building, development assistance and people-to-people contacts," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

Azamatovich arrived here on Sunday an a five-day visit to India.

On Monday, he called on Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu and addressed an India-Kyrgyzstan Business Forum.

Ties between India and the Central Asian nation have traditionally been warm and friendly.

After the independence of the Kyrgyz Republic on August 31, 1991, India was among the first countries to establish diplomatic relations in March 1992; the resident mission of India was set up in May 1994.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Kyrgyzstan in 2015, which was the first prime ministerial visit from India to that country after a gap of 20 years.

Commercial ties between the two countries have been modest though, with bilateral trade heavily in India's favour.

According to figures provided by the External Affairs Ministry, the India-Kyrgyzstan bilateral trade stood at $24.98 million in 2016-17.

India's exports to Kyrgyzstan was $22.66 million whereas Kyrgyz exports to India was $2.32 million.

Apparel and clothing; leather goods; drugs and pharmaceuticals; fine chemicals; and tea are some of the important items in India's export basket to Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyz exports items like raw hides, metalliferous ores and metal scrap to India.

About 4,500 Indian students are studying medicine in various medical institutions in Kyrgyzstan.

--IANS

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