Embassy of India
VISIT OF DR. S. JAISHANKAR, EXTERNAL AFFAIRS MINISTER OF INDIA, TO THE KYRGYZ REPUBLIC ON OCTOBER 25-26, 2023
Dr. S. Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister of India (EAM), visited Bishkek on 25-26 October, 2023 during which he led the Indian delegation to the 22nd meeting of the Council of Heads of Government (CHG) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). This was held under the Chairmanship of the Kyrgyz Republic.
- During this visit, EAM called on President of the Kyrgyz Republic H.E. Mr. Sadyr Zhaparov on 25 October, 2023. EAM conveyed the personal greetings of Prime Minister of India H.E. Mr. Narendra Modi. Both sides discussed bilateral cooperation between India and the Kyrgyz Republic specifically in the sectors of banking, energy, health, pharmaceuticals, defence, agriculture and investments. EAM also conveyed the support of India for the successful Presidency of the SCO Council of Heads of Government by the Kyrgyz Republic.
- EAM met Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic H.E. Mr. Zheenbek Kulubaev in Bishkek on 25 October, 2023. Both discussed about the steps to be taken for further strengthening India-Kyrgyz cooperation with special emphasis being given to the fields of trade and economy, development projects, health and education. Both the Ministers also discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest and exchanged views on Afghanistan, West Asia and on connectivity.
- EAM addressed the 22nd session of the CHG of SCO at Bishkek on 26 October, 2023. The highlights of his address are as follows:
- India shares deep civilizational ties with the people of this region. The continuous movement of goods, ideas and people traversing the region has left indelible imprints on our customs, traditions, language and cuisine. These historical relationships should now create a template for greater economic cooperation.
- SCO should work together to promote stability and prosperity in the region by strictly adhering to the principles of international law, respecting sovereignty and territorial integrity of each other and encouraging economic cooperation. In this context, the centrality of the interests of Central Asian states plays a key role. India is keen to partner with the Member States for sustainable, mutually beneficial and financially viable solutions.
- India is among the top 10 exporters in the world by value. Our total trade with SCO Members has shown robust growth, especially with Russia. It has grown in the last year by 20%, moving from US$ 140 billion to about US$ 170 billion. This has the potential to increase manifold. As cross border e-commerce grows, we also need to collectively ensure equitable competition between large and small sellers and develop reliable consumer protection mechanisms.
- To improve trade within the region, we need robust connectivity and infrastructure. Such initiatives should respect sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries. The Global South should not be saddled with unviable debt arising from opaque initiatives. The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) and the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) could become prosperity enablers.
- During its presidency, India focused on five new verticals of cooperation - Startups and Innovation, Traditional Medicine, Science and Technology, Youth Empowerment and Shared Buddhist Heritage. The response received highlighted the relevance of the chosen themes.
- We adopted a Statement on Cooperation in Digital Transformation and we have also institutionalized a Special Working Group on Startups and Innovation. India is also hosting SCO Startup Forum on a regular basis.
- India also takes satisfaction in organizing events on ‘New and Emerging Fuels’ and ‘Energy Modelling & Forecasting’ during its presidency.