India and Central Asian nation Kazakhstan are keen on further widening defence partnership which includes joint production as well as co-development. “Both India and Kazakhstan have inked a Strategic Partnership treaty in 2009, and a Defence and Military Technical cooperation 2015.
The two countries have several projects in hydrocarbon, education, pharmaceutical and other sectors,” says Prof Rajan Kumar, School of International Studies, JNU. Kazakhstan is the most resource-rich country in Central Asia and is also India’s largest trade and investment partner. Total bilateral trade amounted to USD 1.2 bn between the two countries.
In a recently concluded visit, Defence Minister of Republic of Kazakhstan Lieutenant General Nurlan Yermekbayev and defence minister Rajnath Singh discussed ways to further strengthen bilateral defence cooperation between the two countries.
According to the Ministry of Defence, on April 9, 2021, the two ministers met in New Delhi and the focus of the talks was on the bilateral defence cooperation, capacity building, training and military exercises. And both agreed to explore the possibility of defence industrial collaboration.
The visiting minister Lieutenant General Nurlan Yermekbayev expressed his country’s appreciation as the Kazakh troops are deployed as part of the Indian battalion in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). The Kazakh minister, who was here on an official visit on the invitation of his Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh, had also visited HQs 12 Corps at Jodhpur and the Longewala sector in Jaisalmer.
As has been reported earlier by Financial Express Online, Indian companies have been in talks with Kazakhstan defence industries for co-production and co-development in defence production. According to a senior officer in the Ministry of Defence