Jaishankar says huge potential for further strengthening Indo-Tajik economic cooperation

Dushanbe: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday said that there is potential for further bolstering India-Tajikistan economic cooperation after his meeting with his Tajikistan counterpart Sirojiddin Muhriddin and urged the business community on both the sides to engage more intensively with each other.
Jaishankar, who is in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe, attended the 9th Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan on Tuesday. It is his first bilateral official visit to the key Central Asian country as the Foreign Minister.
In a statement, he said that the 9th Ministerial Conference of the Heart of Asia Istanbul Process on Afghanistan was indeed a timely one.
President of Tajikistan Emamoli Rahmon emphasised on greater economic cooperation between our two countries, particularly in respect of investments from Indian companies in Tajikistan. This will be a focus area of our future cooperation, Jaishankar said.
The minister said that he had detailed talks with Foreign Minister Sirojiddin on all aspects of our bilateral relationship as well as issues of regional and international interest .
Sirojiddin and I shared a common view that while our bilateral strategic relations have grown and expanded over the years, there is potential for further strengthening our economic cooperation.
We would encourage the business community, the Chambers and trade bodies on both sides to engage more intensively with each other while the governments will continue to play a facilitating role, he said.
Development cooperation has also become an important pillar of bilateral relationship, Jaishankar said.
We have successfully commissioned a number of projects over the years in Tajikistan under our grant assistance including IT equipment in schools, food processing plant, engineering workshop, pharmaceutical plant, IT centres, rehabilitation and modernisation of the Varzob-1 hydroelectric power plant among others.
We are happy to be involved in the 8-laning of the Dushanbe-Chortut highway, which once completed next year, would greatly help in decongesting Dushanbe. We are also looking at more community development grant projects as well as projects in the energy and transport sectors under our Line of Credit in Tajikistan, he said.
Training and capacity building would continue to be one of the focus areas of the cooperation, the minister said.
Given our common interest in maintaining peace and security in the region, defence and security cooperation occupies a very important role in our overall cooperation matrix. —PTI


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