India offered USD 1 bn credit line to central Asian countries for priority projects.

India  announced to extend USD 1 billion line of credit for priority developmental projects in central Asian countries on October 28, 2020. India also vow to further expand cooperation with the resource-rich region including confrontation of the common challenges of terrorism and extremism.

Highlights

  • The announcement of the financial assistance was made during the second meeting of the India-Central Asia Dialogue.
  • It also discussed key issues and ways to expand cooperation between the two sides.
  • The virtual meeting was chaired by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his counterparts from Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
  • The ministers talked about the importance of connectivity for increasing trade, commerce, people-to-people contacts between India and the Central Asian countries.

Ministers on Afghanistan Issue

The ministers called for the Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled peace process. They showed their interest in strengthening cooperation for the development and economic reconstruction of Afghanistan through infrastructure, energy, transit and transport projects. They emphasized to preserve  the socio-economic development and political gains that has been made by Afghanistan in the last 19 years.

Joint Statement

The joint statement from the ministers strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms. They also manifest and reaffirmed the determination of their countries to tackle the terrorism by destroying terrorist safe-havens, infrastructure, networks and funding channels. They emphasised on the need for every country in order to ensure that their respective territory is not used to launch terrorist attacks against other countries.

Common Problem

There lies the common perspectives on opportunities and challenges.  All the central Asian Countries face a common challenges of terrorism, drug trafficking, extremism and other such issues. These common issues make these countries a natural partner in their developmental journey.

India’s Stand

India consider Central Asian countries as India’s ‘extended neighborhood’.  India and these countries share a common geography that facilitated continuous exchange of people, ideas and goods.

Central Asian Countries response

The ministers of the Central Asian countries welcomed the provision of financial assistance. These countries would utilize the priority developmental projects in fields including the connectivity, IT, energy, education, healthcare and agriculture.