Economic Case Study Comparison Between India And Kazakhstan
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What are the international business opportunities of kazakhistaan compare the economic indicators with India and bilateral trade agreement between the two countries.
Introduction to Kazakhstan:
Kazakhstan, is an Asian country which is ranked as the ninth largest country in the world. It is also the world's largest landlocked country. Its territory of 2,727,300 km² is greater than Western Europe. It is neighbored clockwise from the north by Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and also borders on a significant part of the Caspian Sea. The capital moved in 1997 to Astana from Almaty, Kazakhstan's largest city.
Kazakhstan is located on the junction of two continents - Europe and Asia, between 45 and 87 degrees of east longitude, 40 and 55 degrees of northern breadth. The geographical center of the European-Asian subcontinent is in Kazakhstan (on an intersection 78 meridians with 50 parallel) - in epicenter of former Semipalatinsk nuclear zone. Kazakhstan occupies a square equal to 2724,9 thousand sq. km. (1048,3 thousand sq. miles) also is stretching to east from the Caspian sea and Volga's of plains up to mountain Altai from Tjan-Shan foothills in the south and southeast up to the West-Siberian lowland in north. The extent of it's territory exceeds 3000 kms from west to east (1150 miles), from the south to north - 1700 kms (650 miles). Kazakhstan is on the ninth place in the world considering the territiry occupied, i.e. USA, Brazil, Australia, India and Argentina enter the top ten of largest states of the world - after Russia, Canada, China. On Kazakhstan's territory can contain seven largest European states as France, Spain, Sweden, Germany, Finland, Italy and Great Britain, or such states of Asia, as Pakistan, Turkey, Iraq, Japan and Vietnam taken together. Only this can testify the huge potential possibilities of the this region on the globe.
Currency Of Kazakhistaan:-
The tenge (Kazakh: Ñ‚ÐµÒ£Ð³Ðµ, teñge) is the currency of Kazakhstan. It is divided into 100 tÃ¯Ä±n (Ñ‚Ð¸Ñ‹Ð½, also transliterated as tiyin or tijn). It was introduced on 15th of November 1993 to replace the Soviet ruble at a rate of 1 tenge = 500 rubles. The ISO-4217 code is KZT.
The word tenge in the Kazakh and most other Turkic languages means a set of scales. The origin of the word is the Turkic teÄŸ- which means being equal, balance. The name of this currency is thus similar to the lira, pound and peso. The name of the currencyis related to the Russian word for money Russian: Ð´ÐµÐ½ÑŒÐ³Ð¸ / den'gi, which was borrowed from Turkic.
Business Enviornment of Kazakhstan:-
Business in Kazakhstan is often focused on the oil and gas sector, which has been responsible for the country's strong economic expansion over the last decade. Kazakhstan, however, is also developing into the most important market in Central Asia and is uniquely positioned to serve as an economic and trade leader in the region. Though often overshadowed by the business press received by neighboring BRIC1 countries Russia and China, Kazakhstan is developing as the trade and investment gateway for Central Asia and has the potential to play an important role as a transit route between China and Europe. Kazakhstan is also actively seeking ways to use its new mineral wealth to diversify its economy. These efforts, combined with a growing middle class, are providing trade and investment prospects for U.S. firms seeking new opportunities in one of the most dynamic of the "emerging" emerging markets , Kazakhstan is still going through the long process of developing a transparent and effective business culture that is attractive to foreign investment. Though the government of Kazakhstan publicly supports economic reform, changes are slow and commerce is plagued by a bureaucracy that is unable to initiate needed change. New laws and regulations that should improve the business environment are often incorrectly implemented at the local level. Foreign investors, as well as local firms, complain about burdensome regulations that often reflect a way of doing business that is reminiscent of the Soviet Union. Challenges remain in addressing problems related to the country's competitiveness and economic diversification, its over-reliance on the oil sector, continued corruption, need for increased rule of law, and concentration of political power.
Kazakhstan's economic growth has slowed over the last two years, and it will be several years before they can regain the annual 9-10% growth levels experienced from 2000-2006. The country was impacted by the global liquidity crises as early as August 2007, and as a result final GDP growth in 2007 was 8.5%. The continued downturn in worldwide markets further impacted Kazakhstan's growth in 2008, as GDP increased by only 3.2%. According to one World Bank economist, much of this growth took place in the first half of 2008, and there was no growth in the last six months. Additionally, it is hypothesized that if the oil rich region of Western Kazakhstan is taken out of the equation, GDP would have been flat or negative for the nation as a whole. GDP is projected to grow by just 2% in 2009.
Rising GDP per capita reached $5,010 in 2007 (Atlas methodology2), or $11,100 in terms of purchasing power parity3. This represents a 32% and 26% increase from 2006, respectively. This ranks Kazakhstan firmly as the number two country in the former Soviet Union in terms of per capita economic prosperity, and places them ahead of key U.S. export markets like China, Brazil, and India, and on par with developing countries in Eastern Europe, like Bulgaria and Romania.
Annual foreign direct investment in the Kazakhstani economy grew 66% in 2007 to $17.5 billion according to the National Bank. Out of South East Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), only Russia and Romania attract more investment, and only Hungary has a higher per capita FDI. UNCTAD4 reports FDI inflows of $10.3 billion in 2007, a 65% increase from what the organization reported Kazakhstan received in 2006.
Over a hundred U.S. firms are active in the country through subsidiaries, joint ventures, representative offices, or as contractors. In addition to the integrated oil firms and oil & gas equipment suppliers and service companies, there are also an increasing number of service sector firms (international law firms, the Big Four accounting firms, and Citibank), as well as telecom, consumer goods, hotels and others.
Despite the credit crunch that began in 2007, Kazakhstan continues to have a healthy appetite for imported goods. U.S. exports to Kazakhstan reached $731 million in 2007, a 15% increase from the previous year, and Kazakhstan reported $32.8 billion in total imports for 2007, a staggering 72% increase from 2006. Jan-Nov 2008 National Bank statistics indicate that import growth will decelerate to 15%, year on year. Based on currently available end of year data, U.S. exports increased by 31% in 2008, reaching $985 million. Bilaterally, our countries conducted over $2.5 billion in trade in 2008 (25% increase), as Kazakhstan maintained its position as our 79th largest trade partner.
The most recent report from the Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom5 rated the country as "moderately free" and ranked it 83 out of 179 countries, well above neighboring Russia and China and just below the global average. This score is one point lower than last year, primarily reflecting purported declines in freedom from corruption and respect for property rights. The Foundation's report scored Kazakhstan highly in trade freedom, fiscal freedom, government size, and labor freedom. "However, challenges to economic freedom remain. The economy has considerable shortcomings in three areas: investment freedom, property rights, and freedom from corruption. Foreign investment is hindered by ad hoc barriers and favoritism toward domestic firms. The weak rule of law allows for significant corruption and insecure property rights."
Over the past decade, Kazakhstan has made some progress in transforming its economy to create a more transparent, less regulated and more market-driven business environment. Nonetheless, this progress continues to be progressively undermined by continued developments that have caused increased concern for U.S. investors and their government alike. Firms that have experience in Russia, the Ukraine and other post-Soviet economies will be familiar with some of these challenges:
Continuing concerns over interpretation of laws by local officials, which often is at variance with that of the central government, especially in the implementation of Kazakhstan's system of taxation and collection of revenues. U.S. investors report taxation as one of their top concerns, reporting frequent harassments by local and national 'financial police' and other taxation authorities through generally intrusive inspections. Quite often, settlement of these cases with the tax authorities has led to criminal charges by local governmental officials as a pressure tactic. On January 1, 2009, Kazakhstan implemented a new, more streamlined tax code, but it is too early to judge whether this will ease the tax burden encountered by most foreign firms doing business here.
As the Heritage Foundation reports, "the government constantly challenges contractual rights and legislates to favor domestic investors over foreign ones, all of which significantly deters foreign investment." The investment climate took a turn for the worse in 2007 with the passage of an amendment to the "Law on Subsoil and Subsoil Use". According to the amendment, the GOK has the right to force renegotiation of subsoil contracts if an existing contract harms the country's national economic interests.
Despite attempts to improve the business environment and join the World Economic Forum's "Global Competitiveness"6 Top 50, Kazakhstan continues to fall in the rankings. Their 2006 ranking of 56th (score of 4.19) fell to 61st in 2007 (score of 4.14) and to 66th in 2008 (score of 4.11).
As elsewhere in the world, the once weak dollar has gained strength, making U.S. exports less price competitive. Though the tenge had been loosely pegged to the US dollar over the last two years, staying in a KZT 119-122 band, a week before this report went to press the Kazakh tenge devalued to KZT 150/USD1. The National Bank reports that their intent is to stabilize the tenge at KZT 150/USD1, with a +/- 3% variation.
Though the World Bank reported that Eastern Europe and Central Asia led among world regions in regards to reforms to business regulations, Kazakhstan demonstrated little improvement on the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Report7 for 2009, ranking 70th out of 181 countries (though still well ahead of Eurasia's other dominant economies, Russia and Ukraine). Of the various indicators used, Kazakhstan experienced lower rankings in "Starting a Business," "Employing Workers", and "Protecting Investors", while showing significant improvement in "Registering Property" and "Getting Credit". Kazakhstan saw little change to the report's other indicators, with near bottom rankings in "Trading Across Borders" and "Dealing with Licenses". The government is using the newest World Bank report as a justification to redouble its commitment to reforms and to improve the legal environment for business. In November 2008, Prime Minister Masimov ordered each relevant ministry to prepare a comprehensive action plan to improve the business environment through a focus on the indicators used in the report.
Corruption increases the cost and difficulty of doing business for foreign and local firms alike, especially as it relates to customs. Corruption remains widespread, and the judiciary is often perceived as an arm of the executive branch rather than as an enforcer of contracts and guardian of property rights. Kazakhstan is ranked 145 out of 180 countries in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index8 for 2008. The country was ranked 150th in 2007.
In a new credit analysis report, Fitch warned of the impact of weaker commodity prices and the global financial crisis on Kazakhstan's economy and its credit profile. Kazakhstan's ratings remain supported by low public debt and net creditor status, reflecting previous prudent saving of energy sector revenues. However, these strengths are likely to be eroded by lower commodity prices and by deployment of sovereign resources to support the domestic economy and banking sector, which are going through a sharp slowdown, adding to downward pressure on Kazakhstan's ratings and warranting a Negative Outlook.
Kazakhstan is beleaguered by a customs regime that is hampered by the incomplete implementation of customs codes, regulations and instructions, excessive and unclear documentation requirements and the necessity to provide 'facilitation payments'. Though Kazakhstan boasts the most improved customs administration in Central Asia, it is far from effective. The government is currently working on developing a new customs code that will streamline the process and decrease the opportunity for corruption from local officials.
Government spending and new government programs are expected to take a hit from the decline in oil prices and the need to create an economic stimulus package. In late 2008 the government of Kazakhstan modified its three-year budget with revenues recalculated applying $40 per barrel as the average oil price in 2009 and USD 50 per barrel in 2010 and 2011 (down from $60 per barrel in the initial draft). The revised price projections decrease what the government had been hoping to earn over the next three years by a third. Additionally, the government expanded its economic stabilization program to $18.1 billion, a portion of this going to purchasing major stakes in the country's largest banks.
Competition is increasing, as Russia and China vie for access to the country's energy resources and growing buying power. The EU is also a major player, and as a group is Kazakhstan's single largest investor. Turkey is another formidable competitor, using its strong presence in the construction and retail sector to better position itself.
The ability to create a modern trade route through Central Asia is hampered by the reluctance of Central Asian countries to work together to increase cross-border traffic. This impacts Kazakhstan's plans to position itself as a transit area for goods between Asia and Europe, and the government of Kazakhstan is increasingly pursuing its own plans of developing road and rail links between China and Russia.
Kazakhstan's strategic aspiration is to become a modern, diversified economy with a high value-added and high-tech component, well integrated in to the global economy, and they are cognizant of the need for foreign expertise to accomplish this. Like other former Soviet republics, Kazakhstan's infrastructure is underdeveloped, especially roads, transportation, and telecommunications. Likewise, areas such as health and environment need an infusion of investment to reach European standards. There is no question that the global economic crisis will impact Kazakhstan's goal of attracting FDI outside the oil and gas sector, the pace at which it repairs its crumbling infrastructure, and the appetite for consumer products that its growing middle class has demonstrated. However, firms that seize this moment to explore the country's many business opportunities may be rewarded in the long term.
Business Oppournities in Kazhakstan:-
Kazakhstan's economy has great potential, due to its substantial reserves of oil, gas, metals and minerals. Basic infrastructure difficulties need to be overcome, including pipeline routes, and there are opportunities for UK companies to get involved in the country's modernisation programme. UK Trade & Investment has identified these priority sectors for UK companies:
Oil and gas
Metals, minerals and mining
Transport - road, rail and aviation
Kazakhstan can rightfully claim to be the driving force and the most advanced of all the Central Asian countries.Governed since independence in 1991 by President Nursultan Nazarbajev's semidictatorship,the country has mainly based its economic growth on exploiting its immense oil reserves. Taking into account the recent discovery of the Kashagan deposit in the Caspian Sea, it is now one of the largest oil producers in the world. The oil reserves are intensely exploited by consortia with huge stakes held by the big American oil companies, creating a conspicuous American economic and cultural presence in the country.Kazakhstan aims to take great strides towards economic development and well-being by maintaining a careful balance between Russia (Kazakhstan was once wholly dependent economically on its former ruler), China (a neighbouring power and antagonist in economic and political terms) and the USA, which sees Kazakhstan as strategic political and economic outpost.
Moving on to more general economic considerations, we see the country is beginning to recover after the crisis following the liberalisation of the dollar-tenge exchange rate in Spring 1999. This caused high inflation, a reduction in demand and a drastic cutback in imports.
Signs of recovery, however, are visible in the very appearance of Almaty (the former
capital, after the creation of the new capital at Astana, but still the economic hub of the country). Over the last two years the city has been visibly transformed into a cosmopolitan Western-style capital.
The Kazakh government is encouraging the development of private enterprise and local production in the sectors of consumer goods and technology in order to reduce dependence on foreign imports and to develop the internal market. Western products are still strong inthe market niche in which there is a demand for top-quality, designer or high-tech finished products, but especially for goods not yet available on the local market.
The INFORMEST experience:-
Having grasped the strategic importance of Kazakhstan and the extent of its market,INFORMEST was one of the first Italian agencies to operate in the country. For several years it has provided a service called the Kazakhstan Business Guide, a useful on-line IT tool offering Italian business businessmen all the information concerning macro-economics, customs measures, commercial law, etc., required for operations in the country.
Given the growing interest shown by Italian businessmen in the new market, INFORMEST has also promoted the direct involvement of Italian companies in the country by taking part in two trade fairs for the furniture sector at Almaty in 1998 and 2000. In 2000
INFORMEST organised the very successful collective participation of ten Italian companies at the 4th edition of the "Interiors 2000" fair. The event attracted 15,000 visitors (local manufacturers and traders) and the presence of a 150 exhibitors from over ten European countries (Italy, Germany, France, Finland, Belgium, Slovakia, Poland, Czech Republic and Turkey). INFORMEST organised the Italian presence, by acquiring and managing the exhibition space, installing the stands, organising the transport of exhibits and providing interpreters.
The Friuli Venezia Giulia region provided grants to assist its own local companies, thus substantially reducing (by 50 per cent) the cost of participation.
To support Italian businessman in Kazakhstan, INFORMEST has also developed local market research studies. This involves analysing, on one hand, the furniture and furnishings sector and on the other the wine and vine-growing sector, with a special focus on production and bottling activities.
Bilateral agreement of Kazakhstan:-
: State-owned Nuclear Power Corporation and Kazakh national atomic firm Kazatomprom are working on a uranium supply deal, which may eventually see India's sole N-power firm setting up its first overseas plant in Central Asia's fastest-growing economy. A team of Kazatomprom executives is coming to India for advanced negotiations. The two sides will try and sew up talks so that a deal may be signed when the Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev visits India as the Republic Day chief guest. The talks will first focus on getting nuclear supplies from Kazakhstan and could later move to setting up reactors in joint ventures.
India will also support Kazakhstan for its accession to the global trade body WTO. One of the reasons for it is that Kazakhstan has got world's second largest uranium deposits, with 15% of global reserves, after Australia, and will be the top nuclear exporter by 2010. Indo-Kazakh trade ties are headed for a major boost during the Kazakh president's visit. Kazakhstan's deputy minister for trade and industries, Zhanar S Aitzhanova, said her country was keen to improve trade ties with India not only in the energy sector but also in services, IT and the textile industry. Aitzhanova said that both the countries are expected to sign a host of trade agreements including the one on 'protection of intellectual property rights and geographical indications for Indian products like basmati rice, alphonso mangoes and darjeeling tea'. She also said that her country was looking for cooperation in areas of financial and other services sectors with India. The visiting minister, who is also the chief negotiator for Kazakhstan's WTO membership, said her country was seeking India's support for the country's access to the global trade body.
"We have completed WTO-related talks with 22 countries and are still in negotiations with India, the US, the EU and Saudi Arabia," she said.
Aitzhanova said economic policies of the country-which has its annual GDP pegged around $135 billion-were being reformed as per WTO guidelines. Kazakhstan, she said, has attracted foreign direct investment of $72 billion, thanks to the country's 'open economic policies'.
Bilateral trade between India and Kazakhstan in the first ten months of last year touched the $232 million mark-an increase of over 300% from $80 million in 2004. Of this, the minister said, oil and allied exports to India have contributed $100 million, building material like asbestos $15 million and metal exports $20 million.
India and Kazakhstan will sign two agreements, including one on intellectual property rights. The two sides concluded negotiations for the IPR and a pact on safety standards during Aitzhanova's visit. Under the standards agreement, the two sides will accept safety standards issued by the two countries for pharmaceuticals and processed food.
"A joint declaration on strategic partnership between Kazakhstan and India, signed by Presidents Pratibha Patil and Nursultan Nazarbayev during the latter's visit to Delhi Jan. 23-26, outlines plans for a number of bilateral projects. In the energy sector, Indian petroleum company ONGC-Mittal Energy Ltd. will buy up to 40 percent of the Satpayev oil field in the Kazakh region of the Caspian Sea. Initial estimates peg reserves there at 253 million tonnes.
India and Kazakhstan signed a bilateral agreement on Kazakhstan's bid to enter the World Trade Organization, and are taking steps to increase trade turnover between them. Over the first 11 months of 2008, commerce between India and Kazakhstan was valued at US$332 million, including Indian exports of US$183 million, which was more than half of India's total trade with Central Asia.
Kazakhstan is surrounded with state-empires, in which third of the world population lives. It is clear that the talk is about its nearest neighbor China and another rapidly developing country India, which are like real hegemonies are more typical to struggle for spheres of influence in the region as well as for its markets.
INDIA MAKES WAY TO OTHER PLAYERS:-
India with its range of production and volume of manufacture strives to be equal with Russia and China in external political activity with Kazakhstan. However, it hadn't yet managed. According to results of 2008 India didn't enter even in the top 10 countries partners of Kazakhstan on the trade level: for the period fromm January to September 2008, Russia with trade turnover of USD15,5 billion is rated the first, China with USD8,7 billion - forth, letting Italy and Switzerland be ahead 2008.
Whereas the trade turnover of India and Kazakhstan for 11 months of 2008 reached USD332,4 million (Kazakhstani export - USD149,7 million and import from India - USD182,7million).On the results of 2007 trade turnover between Kazakhstan and India made up USD195,7 million (Kazakhstani export - USD48,1 million, import - USD147,6 million).
Although figures say of growing dynamics of trade turnover, countries didn't still realize their potential in full.
The president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, paid an official visit to India on January 23 - 26. In the frameworks of the visit, the head of Kazakhstan held negotiations with Pratibha Devisingh Patil, the president of India, and Shri Pranab Mukherjee, the minister of foreign affairs of India. During negotiations, the sides discussed the prospects of economic, social and cultural cooperation between the states. In the frameworks of the meeting, the sides signed joint declaration, protocol on Kazakhstan entry into WTO, agreement on cooperation principles between "Kazmunaygas" national company and ONGC Mittal Energy Ltd., the memorandum of understanding between "Kazatomprom" and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. Currently these two national companies are considering the opportunities of Kazakhstani uranium delivery to India.
Nursultan Nazarbayev marked, that the negotiations and signed documents bring Kazakhstani-Indian relations to a new level of strategic partnership. Besides that, Kazakhstani president took part in business-forum, which united leading Kazakhstani and Indian business figures. Kazakhstani leader applied to the leaders of Indian business calling to make investments into Kazakhstan. Along with this, he marked, that Kazakhstan has some concrete proposals and projects on possible joint implementation.
The sides also concerned the issue of terrorism. The head of Kazakhstan blamed terrorist acts in Mumbai and stated about necessity of global cooperation establishment directed on struggle with international terrorism. He also marked, that Kazakhstan supports the efforts of India on terrorism counteraction. Both sides stated about necessity of soonest signing of universal convention on struggle with international terrorism in the frameworks of the United Nations.
Along with this, the sides marked, that the volume of mutual trade turnover is much lower the existing potentials. Due to this, Kazakhstani and Indian leaders ordered the governments to concentrate further work on this issue and define the types of goods and projects able to deepen economic interaction. At the same time, aiming to expand economic cooperation in the spheres, where India has rich experience, Indian side offered Kazakhstani authorities to establish a plant on fertilizers manufacture based on gas.
During the visit to India, Nursultan Nazarbayev presented Indian audience two of his books titled as "Critical decade" and "Kazakhstani way", which have been translated into Hindi language. Besides that, Indian side welcomed Kazakhstani leader at the celebration of Indian day in New Delhi.
Addressing the captains of industry, N. Nazarbayev said Kazakhstan imported nearly $500 million worth of pharmaceutical requirements every year and it wanted Indian companies to set up facilities in this area. In addition, he said, investments were being solicited in sectors such as banking and financial, IT, metallurgy and related areas.
"India and Kazakhstan have formed strategic partnership for setting up of joint projects in many areas such as construction, oil and gas, minerals, metallurgy as also supply of uranium. My visit to India would result into establishment of long-term relationship in areas identified above," he added.
He said oil and gas was the highly prospective area for collaboration between the two countries as his country had oil reserves for 50 years and gas reserves for 75 years.
Despite authorities' dissatisfaction with small volume of commodity circulation between the states, the figures have been growing over the last several years. According to the results of 2007 the commodity circulation between the states reached $195.7 million, up to $48.1 million went to Kazakhstani export and $147.6 million was the share of Indian import. In 1 months of last year, the trade turnover between Kazakhstan and India reached $332.4 million, up to $149.7 million was the share of Kazakhstani export and $182.7 million was Indian import. As for today, the total volume of Kazakhstani investments to India reached $63.3 million, while India has invested $61.9 milllion into Kazakhstani economy. Today, such Indian companies as Punj Lloyd, OVL, Punjab National Bank and Mittal Steel work in Kazakhstan.
The act that Indian Nationalized Punjab National Bank (PNB) opened its representative office on the CIS territory in 1998, particularly in Kazakhstan, proves, that our republic is the most attractive and promising financial market with opportunity to earn good money. More so, according to the latest difficulties of the global credit system, according to Nalind Saxena, chief representative of PNB, there are even more opportunities for acquisition of local banks. At the moment the negotiations are started on purchase of control share package in one of three Kazakshtani medium banks or banks with not big assets. The names of the banks are still kept secret. For this goal in July 2008 senior officer of PNB came to Kazakhstan, which is a bank number one among nationalized with turnover USD75 billion.
Despite, it was the 4th official visit of Kazakhstani president to India, the first visit was paid in 1992, when the companies established economic cooperation links, according to Indian businessmen, there are still many bureaucratic barriers, which prevent making business for Indian representatives in Kazakhstan
India-Kazakhstan signed Nuclear Cooperation deal:-
India and Kazakhstan on Saturday signed five agreements, including cooperation in the civil nuclear field.
President Pratibha Patil and her Kazakhstan counterpart, Nursultan Nazarbayev signed on the agreements after a delegation level talk between the two countries.
The Kazakh President had arrived in India last night on a four-day visit.
This is Nazarbayev''s fourth visit to India, who will also be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade this year.
The other agreements signed by the two countries are- a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in space and an agreement on carbo-hydron sector are the other highlights of the enhanced cooperation between the two countries.
An Extradition Treaty between the two sides and a protocol on accession of Kazakhstan to the WTO were also signed after the decisive talks.
After a ceremonial reception Nazarbayev said that Kazakhstan is a major trade partner of India and agreements on oil exploration, delivery of uranium for nuclear power plants and cooperation in IT industry will further strengthen the bilateral relations.
Vice President Mohammed Hamid Ansari, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and the leader of the Opposition L. K. Advani will call on Nazarbayev in the evening. (ANI)
Nazarbayev to sign Indo-Kazakh Civil nuclear agreement
Kazakhstan President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who is on a four day visit to India, stated here today that the India-Kazakh civil nuclear agreement is of great importance for bilateral relations between the two countries.
India and Kazakhstan are expected to sign a civil nuclear agreement and a few other pacts in the presence of President Pratibha Patil at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee will hold the delegation level talks with Nazarbayev as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will remain indisposed.
Nazarbayev, who is on his fourth visit to India since Kazakhstan separated from erstwhile Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1991, will also attend the Republic day parade as the chief guest.
The pact will ensure a smooth running of India''s atomic plants, as Kazakhstan is the third largest share of uranium production and plans to become the second largest producer of the mineral by 2010 by raising output to 15,500 tonnes.
Besides the uranium supply, the agreement will also include joint exploration of nuclear fuel and construction of more atomic plants.
India has entered into similar civil nuclear cooperation deals with US, France and Russia in the past three months. (ANI)
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