Dushanbe: – Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar, on a visit to Tajikistan for the Heart of Asia conference regarding Afghanistan, held a meeting with Tajikistan Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin. Foreign Minister Jaishankar and Foreign Minister Muhriddin concurred on providing an impetus to bilateral trade by increasing cooperation on all levels. Foreign Minister Jaishankar said that there is a massive opportunity for economic cooperation between India and Tajikistan.
India is already implementing some development projects in Tajikistan, including an 8-lane highway between the capital Dushanbe and Chortut. The work will be completed next year. Foreign Minister Jaishankar announced that India would be undertaking more projects in Tajikistan in the future. These include projects from the energy and transport sectors.
Foreign Minister Jaishankar informed that currently, India is assisting Tajikistan in modernising IT equipment, food processing centres, technical workshops, drug manufacturing centres, IT centres and hydroelectric projects. It is in the interest of India as well as Tajikistan that peace and stability are maintained in this region. Therefore, both the countries also concurred on strengthening cooperation on the defence and security fronts. Foreign Minister Jaishankar said that he had fruitful talks with Tajikistan Defence Minister Colonel General Sherali Mirzo.
Foreign Minister Jaishankar pointed out that India and Tajikistan are cooperating through the medium of the United Nations and other organisations. Meanwhile, India is keen on increasing trade with Tajikistan and the other central Asian countries. But Pakistan had refused to allow the use of a pathway via Afghanistan to connect with these countries. This created a major restriction on the trade between India and the central Asian countries. But India gave the necessary stimulus to the trade with Afghanistan, with the development of the Chabahar port in Iran. Indian efforts have started to stimulate trade with the central Asian countries via Afghanistan.
Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are the central Asian countries rich in natural resources. If India succeeds in increasing trade with these countries, the condition and speed of the Indian economy could be altered. These central Asian countries are equally keen to increase trade with India. Now the possibilities are being presented for this with the development of the Chabahar port. Therefore, these efforts by the Indian Foreign Minister to increase trade with Tajikistan become noteworthy.