India, Kazakhstan to establish 'cooperation group'

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Astana Kazakhstan, Apr 7 (UNI) Not satisfied with the current level of bilateral cooperation, India and Kazakhstan today agreed to establish a ''cooperation group'' to intensify and diversify bilateral ties, especially in hydrocarbon sector.

Though India and Kazakhstan had earlier set up a Joint Working Group on Hydrocarbons, no headway had been made in the past few years in finalising agreements in setting up of refineries or joint ventures in upstream and downstream sectors.

''We decided to create a cooperation group'' to enhance and diversify our ties in mutlifaceted areas, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Chairman of the Kazkhstan Senate N Abykaev told newspersons after their talks here this morning.

''The volume of trade between our countries was close to 200 million dollars. We held discussion on means of increasing bilateral trade and expanding the areas of cooperation. There are immense possibilities of expanding cooperation in economic, commercial, scientific and political fields,'' Mr Ansari.

A joint working group on hydrocarbons area is also functioning under the Indo-Kazakhstan Inter Governmental Joint Commission on trade, Science Technology and Industry.

Another important issue discussed today was transport corridor.

India had offered help in the accession to the International North South Transport corridor agreement, which was signed by India, Iran and Russia in 2002.

This would provide access to Kazakhstan to use this corridor for transportation of goods. Mr Ansari also extended India's support to carry forward the process of Conference on Interaction and Confidence building Measures (CICA).

The CICA has evolved into an organisation that is representative to the challenges and issues of the times.

UNI SMA RJ DS1403

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