India and Kyrgyztan finalised broad contours of a bilateral investment treaty and inked six other pacts covering a range of areas besides resolving to work closely to combat challenge of terrorism, extremism and radicalism.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev held comprehensive talks and agreed to step up engagement in key areas of defence, security and trade with specific focus on mining, IT, agriculture and energy.
“We discussed how we could work together to secure our youth and society against common challenges of terrorism, extremism, and radicalism. We agreed on the need to coordinate and work closely in addressing and overcoming these challenges for our common benefit,” Modi said in a media statement.
The Central Asian nation bordering China is strategically important for India and both countries have been steadily ramping up defence collaboration.
Modi had visited Kyrgyztan in July last year during which a pact for boosting defence cooperation was inked.
A joint statement issued after the talks said the two leaders noted the challenges posed by terrorism and extremism globally as well as in the Asian continent, and emphasised the importance of ensuring a stable and secure environment for peaceful economic development.
“In this context, they also called for the adoption by the United Nations of the draft Comprehensive Convention on Combating International Terrorism,” it said.
Aiming to broaden economic engagement, the two countries initialled a bilateral investment treaty which will provide protection to investors in each other’s country apart from creating enabling environment for trade to grow.
The six MoUs will provide for deeper cooperation in areas of agriculture, tourism, culture, broadcasting and youth affairs.
In his comments, Atambayev said he was not happy over the current volume of bilateral trade as there was huge untapped potential for its expansion and called for removing bottlenecks in transportation of goods between the two countries through Iran.
Denouncing terrorism and extremism, he said both countries were binded by historical links and fundamental values such as freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. He also mentioned about popularity of Bollywood legend Raj Kapoor in his country.
To ramp up economic engagement, both sides, during the talks, directed the ministries concerned to develop a comprehensive road-map for a five-year timeframe.
The two leaders also reviewed the “cooperative engagement” in defence with Modi calling the Kyrgyz-India Mountain Bio-Medical Research Center as an excellent example of successful collaboration.
Both the countries are also involved in Mountain Bio-Medical Research and Modi called it an excellent example of successful collaboration.