India-International Relations Current Affairs

Kazakhstan opens consulate in Chennai

Kazakhstan has opened its honorary consulate in Chennai. The consulate will cover the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. It will be headed by well-known businessman Suraj Shantakumar. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan has expressed confidence that the establishment of the consulate in Chennai, which is a major industrial centre would promote the potential for economic cooperation in a number of areas like IT industry, engineering, tourism, transport infrastructure, as well as agricultural production.

Background

Among the countries that constituted former USSR, Kazakhstan has emerged as the second largest economic partner for India. Kazakhstan is natural resources, minerals, oil and gas and chemical products. It is the largest exporter of Uranium to India. The prospectus of cooperation looms large in several areas. Recently, there was a meeting between the special working groups on textiles from the two countries in Kazakhstan. The bilateral trade between the two countries was around 618 million USD in 2016. India exports pharmaceuticals, tea, tobacco, and engineering equipment to Kazakhstan and imports oil products, metals and natural minerals from that country.

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India Cyprus inks four agreements

India and Cyprus have signed four agreements following delegation-level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades in New Delhi. The two sides discussed various bilateral and regional issues and agreed on the need on the part of all countries to act decisively against those countries that shelter and sustain violence factories in their regions. The two sides also called for the need for early reforms of the United Nations Security Council. Cyprus reiterated its support to India’s bid for inclusion a permanent member in the UNSC.

Cyprus will also award its highest civilian honour, the Grand Collar of the Order of Makarios III, on President Pranab Mukherjee.

Agreements

Both the countries signed:

  • An executive programme on culture, education and scientific cooperation for the years 2017 to 2020.
  • A work plan under a programme of cooperation in agriculture for the period 2017-2018.
  • Agreement on cooperation in the area of merchant shipping.
  • Agreement to boost air services between the two countries.

India-Cyprus ties

Cyprus is the eighth largest foreign investor in India with a cumulative foreign direct investment of about $9 billion in areas such as financial leasing, stock exchange, auto manufacture, manufacturing industries, real estate, cargo handling, construction, shipping and logistics. The Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between both the countries was revised in 2016.

Diplomatic ties between India and Cyprus were established in 1962. Cyprus got the support of India during its struggle for independence from British colonial rule. Bilateral trade between both the countries stood at EUR 76.5 million in 2015. The major commodities exported by India to Cyprus are organic chemicals, vehicles & accessories and iron & steel. India’s main imports are aluminium and its products, wood pulp, machinery, boilers, engines, and plastic.

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