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PM Modi to hold first India-Central Asia Summit today.
Jan 27, 2022

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold the first ever India-Central Asia Summit on Thursday in a virtual format with the presidents of five countries, including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The major areas of focus for the conference will be trade and connectivity, building development partnerships and enhancing cultural and people-to-people contacts and steps to take forward relations to newer heights.
This will be the first engagement of its kind between India and the Central Asian countries at the level of leaders, the Ministry of External Affairs had said.
The summit is symbolic of the importance attached by the leaders of India and the Central Asian countries to a comprehensive and enduring India-Central Asia partnership. During the conference, the countries are expected to propose ways to increase trade between India and the region, which is only about $2 billion at present, most of which comes from energy imports from Kazakhstan. 
India extended a $1 billion Line of Credit (LOC) for development projects in the areas of energy, healthcare, connectivity, IT, and agriculture in 2020 and proposes to increase the number of educational opportunities for students from Central Asian countries.
The summit is being held a day after the Republic Day. The leaders of the five central Asian countries were likely to be the chief guests but India saw a rise in COVID-19 cases which led to curtailed Republic Day celebrations.
The first India-Central Asia Summit, the MEA had said, is a reflection of the country’s growing engagement with the Central Asian countries, which are a part of India’s “extended neighbourhood”.
PM Modi had paid a visit to all Central Asian countries in 2015. Subsequently, there have been exchanges at high levels at bilateral and multilateral forums.
Earlier this week all five Central Asian leaders also met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in a virtual conference to mark 30 years of diplomatic relations, where they discussed increasing trade between China and the region, which is more than $41 billion at present.