Central Asia Current Affairs - 2019
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The findings from the World Economic Forum’s public opinion survey register regional variations on the various issues. Few of them are listed below:
- When asked how important it is for countries to work together towards a common goal, a global average of 76 per cent said they believe it is either extremely important or very important.
- The favourable sentiments were strongly felt in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, where 88 per cent share the same view. On the other hand, 61 per cent of Western Europeans and 70 per cent of North Americans said they consider cooperation to be extremely or very important.
- When asked whether their country has a responsibility to help other countries in the world, South Asia had the highest levels of concurrence with 94 per cent answering positively compared to a global average of 72 per cent. While the North Americans and Western Europeans were the least effusive, with only 61 per cent and 63 per cent respectively answering in the affirmative.
- At a global level, 57 per cent, said they believe that immigrants are “mostly good” for their new country. But only 40 per cent of those living in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and 46 per cent of respondents in Western Europe subscribe to the same opinion, whereas the South Asians and North Americans exclusively agreed to this.
- Most people still believe in the power of international cooperation but they share a much less positive view of their own country when it comes to social progress. Only 20 per cent of respondents in Western Europe feel it is either extremely common or somewhat common for someone to be born poor and become rich through hard work.
These variations are attributed to the socio-economic and political reasons.
India has joined Ashgabat Agreement which envisages facilitation of transit and transportation of goods between Central Asia and the Persian Gulf to significantly boost up trade and investment. It was informed by Turkmenistan, as depository state of the Agreement that all its four founding members have consented to accession of India.
Ashgabat Agreement aims at establishment of International Transport and Transit Corridor between the Iran, Oman, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. It was signed in April 2011 and is named after capital of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat. It establishes international transport and transit corridor between Central Asia and the Persian Gulf countries. Pakistan is also its member since October 2016.
Significance of accession to Agreement
- It will enable India to utilise this existing transport and transit corridor to facilitate trade and commercial interaction and ties with Central Asia and Eurasian region.
- It will synchronise India’s efforts to implement the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) for enhanced connectivity.
- It will provide India an opportunity for reorientation of the freight traffic from the traditional sea route to land transcontinental routes.
India had deposited the Instrument of Accession with Turkmenistan in April 2016. Prior to it, the Union Cabinet had given its approval for India to accede to Ashgabat Agreement in March 2016.